The state of the world can leave a lot of us stressed, and often that comes out in the form of clenching teeth for many of us. Grinding or clenching your teeth is often known as “bruxism.” This condition can be very harsh on your jaw and teeth, so it’s important to treat it as soon as possible. Below we detail some common symptoms, how it can happen, and why you shouldn’t dismiss treating it.
What Are Some of the Common Signs You’re Clenching Your Teeth?
There are actually quite a few symptoms that can be attributed to grinding your teeth. Many of them are minor and can be mistaken for other issues which are part of the reasons why the condition is sometimes difficult to diagnose.
Oftentimes the easiest way to tell if you’re grinding your teeth is if you’re noticing signs of wear on your teeth. These could be as extreme as signs of them being cracked or chipped or as minor as being more worn down than usual (which your dentist can tell).
Other common symptoms include:
- Sensitive teeth
- Facial pain
- Tension in your jaw, facial muscles, or both
- Headaches ranging from mild to severe
- Jaw locking
- Clicking in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
Many of these symptoms are especially prevalent after sleeping and will typically be most severe then. If you notice that you’re not sleeping well, or are waking up with headaches, these are often some of the other key signs of grinding your teeth.
Why Does Bruxism Happen?
Unfortunately, it’s currently unclear as to why we grind our teeth. However, we do know that some of the leading factors that often contribute to bruxism are:
- Stress and anxiety
- Trouble sleeping
- An abnormal bite
- Crooked or missing teeth
The reason why grinding your teeth is so much worse after sleep compared to the rest of your day is because you can’t control how hard you’re biting down while in your sleep. Your brain can apply the full force on your jaw and it’s not something you can control.
Why It’s Important to Find Treatment When You’re Grinding Your Teeth
It’s easy to dismiss the pain from grinding your teeth as it can often be easily treated with over-the-counter medication, but it’s actually immensely important. Even going to the dentist and getting something as basic as a mouthguard can help you more effectively deal with the pain and issues associated with grinding your teeth.
You can even break your teeth if you leave it as an issue for too long or develop a TMJ disorder.
In any case, it’s best to see a dentist if you notice you’re grinding your teeth so they can put together the best treatment options for your specific needs.