Are you waking up in the middle of the night with bleeding or aching gums? Do you find that you have a sore jaw or headache first thing in the morning? If so, then you may have bruxism, a condition where you chronically tense your jaw and grind your teeth while asleep or awake. But you won’t know exactly what’s causing your bleeding gums or headaches until you see your dentist. In fact, a majority of people who suffer from bruxism don’t even know they have it because most of their grinding happens when they are asleep. So if you suspect that you may have this condition, it’s important to seek dental treatment immediately as it can grind down your oral health and cause permanent damage over time. Here’s how:
If left untreated, bruxism can lead to receding gums and bone loss that can cause gum disease and periodontitis. Studies have also shown that it can aggravate existing gum disease and make it spread even faster. Persistent grinding causes constant stress on the gums which prevent them from ever recovering.
Loosening of Teeth
If there’s one thing that teeth grinding does, it puts continuous stress on your teeth and bones. The simple action of grinding causes your teeth to move back and forth in the socket, which eventually loosens the teeth and damages the bone structure. If this persists, the excessive pressure could be enough to cause your teeth to fall out completely.
Bruxism is also one of the major causes of TMJ syndrome which stands for Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome. How does it form? The act of teeth grinding puts pressure on the muscles and tissues that support the jaw. If left untreated, excessive grinding can lead to full-blown TMJ that causes long term discomfort, excessive pain and erosion of the jaw joint.
Pain and Sensitivities
Have you been experiencing any unexplained tooth sensitivities lately? The constant grinding that is associated with bruxism eventually wears down the teeth until vital tissue and nerves become exposed. As you can imagine, this causes severe pain and tooth sensitivities.
Another way that bruxism can grind down your oral health is by eroding your teeth. The stress that’s constantly placed on them can eventually cause the enamel to weaken, resulting in cracks and chips.
When your grinding is keeping you up at night and is damaging your teeth, it’s time to see your dentist. They will recommend a treatment to help protect your teeth when you grind. They will also provide you with advice to help you reduce the frequency of the symptoms that cause bruxism. Visit our dental team at Teal Umbrella and we’ll help determine what’s causing your bruxism and how you can get relief.