It is estimated that around 16 percent of the general population in this country grind their teeth. It is a repetitive, involuntary action that affects children and adults. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can lead to a variety of dental problems. The practice can also produce pain ranging from mild to severe.
Many people who grind their teeth are not aware that they are doing it, but they are very aware of the symptoms. Here are three problems that bruxism can cause when left untreated.
One of the most common symptoms associated with teeth grinding is jaw pain. As you can well imagine, if you clench and grind your teeth for any amount of time, your jaw muscles will get sore. Clenching and grinding your teeth exert tremendous pressure on the jaw muscles. In the morning when you wake, if you have had a bad night of grinding your teeth, your jaws may feel like they have had a workout. Unfortunately, this added stress not only tires out the muscles in your jaw, but the strain can also lead to headaches.
Headaches Caused by Teeth Grinding
Often, when a person wakes up with a headache, it could be due to bruxism. If you are prone to grinding your teeth, the referred pain from fatigued jaw muscles may also cause headache pain. Some individuals experience migraine headaches as a result of teeth grinding. However, it is not just the physical symptoms of pain that make bruxism a problem.
The enamel on each tooth does not grow back once it has been reduced or removed. Teeth grinding can wear down the enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay. Without this hard, protective layer, your teeth may also become more sensitive to the temperature of the foods and beverages you ingest.
Teeth grinding often resolves on its own, especially for children and adults who are intermittent grinders. Talk to your dentist about your options. Once the issue is addressed, you can start the day feeling refreshed and pain-free.
Posted on behalf of Gramercy Dental Center