Grinding your teeth wears down tooth enamel, potentially fractures teeth, and places a dangerous amount of pressure on the jawbone and muscles. Most people already know that grinding their teeth is bad. Unfortunately, plenty will be grinding their teeth without knowing it since it’s something that often occurs during sleep.
If you are grinding your teeth at night, you need to know about it so you can start working to correct the problem. Here are just four common signs.
- You’re Tempted to Chew Throughout the Day
If you’ve developed the habit of grinding at night, you might also find yourself unable to stop chewing throughout the day. You might chew on gum, the ends of pencils, straws, or other such items. By doing so, you’re training your jaw muscles to stay tight, so they’ll want to continue the chewing motion when you’re asleep.
- You Feel Bad When You Wake Up
Grinding puts quite a lot of pressure on the teeth, jaw bone, and jaw muscles, so it’s not uncommon to wake up feeling sore in the morning. If your teeth ache and you have a sore jaw, you’ve probably been grinding. You may also experience a strong headache, earache, or facial soreness.
- You Suffer from Sensitive Teeth
When you grind your teeth, you wear away the harder layer of enamel that forms their first line of defence. When the enamel on your teeth becomes thin, high and low temperatures are more easily transmitted to the vulnerable inner pulp, so people who grind often end up with sensitive teeth.
- Your Teeth Look Flat
If you’re still unsure whether or not you grind your teeth at night, try taking a look at them in the mirror. If you’ve been grinding your teeth for years, you may actually have worn them down a little. It’s easiest to check the front teeth. Do they all look like they’re the same length or appear flatter than normal along the top? If so, they probably got that way through grinding. At this point, you should see your dentist as quickly as possible.