Do you ever wake up with an aching jaw, tooth sensitivity or notice that your teeth seem to be shifting or loosening? Clenching or grinding your teeth can put excessive force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could speed up the rate at which periodontal tissues are destroyed. Teeth grinding or clenching can also cause abnormal wear and tear on the teeth which will prematurely age and loosen them, causing problems such as hypersensitivity (from the small cracks that form, exposing your dentin). Clenching or grinding, known as bruxism, can also lead to chronic jaw and facial pain, as well as headaches.
If no one has told you that you grind your teeth, here are a few clues that you may suffer from bruxism:
Your jaw is sore often, or you hear popping sounds when you open and close your mouth.
Your teeth look short or worn down.
You notice dents in your tongue, especially along the edges.
A common therapy involves use of a special appliance worn while sleeping which your dentist can custom fit for you.
Dr. Britten can evaluate you for evidence of clenching or grinding and make the appropriate recommendation to avoid further damage to your teeth, gums and TMJ.
If you have any questions or concerns about bruxism, please contact our office at 727-586-2681.