Everyone has habits. Some habits you notice and some you don’t even think about. Some habits are harmful, and some can spiral out of control. Habits will always be there, but it’s best if you’re at least aware of what they are. Grinding your teeth can be a habit you adopt during the day. It can also be an involuntary movement disorder that takes over at night. Known medically as “Bruxism,” teeth clenching and grinding at night is particularly difficult because you may not even know you have this condition until the symptoms start to show. Bruxism can lead to pain, sensitivity, soreness, and weakened tooth enamel, so battling back against this condition is a must.
Bruxism Is Caused by a Combination of Factors
The root cause and mechanics of Bruxism are still not completely understood. Bruxism while you’re awake is most often a habit developed to cope with stress or increase concentration. Bruxism in your sleep is more difficult to source — it could be related to unresolved stress or anger, or chewing activity associated with arousals during sleep. Again, this form is more difficult to spot, because you may not even realize that you’re doing it while you’re asleep. If you feel jaw soreness and unexplained tooth pain or sensitivity when you wake up, Bruxism may be the cause.
Untreated Bruxism Can Lead to a Battle with Other Problems
Maybe a little bit of pain or soreness isn’t too bad. You can often adjust to moderate discomfort. However, the real danger of Bruxism is that it can lead to other oral health issues. The consistent grinding of teeth can wear away at your enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to infection. Augmenting the bite of your teeth by flattening your enamel can also create a redistribution of pressure throughout your mouth. This may lead to quicker wear on your teeth and more pain for your jaw.
Talk to Your Dentist About Bruxism
Since sleep Bruxism can be impossible to diagnose on your own, it’s best to talk to your dentist if you think you may have a problem. Dr. Evan Olson is Redmond’s go-to dentist for issues both large and small. Coppertop’s family-centered care will ensure that any issues you’re having are addressed promptly and comfortably. Make an appointment at Coppertop Family Dentistry in Redmond, OR by calling 541-923-5927.