You make sure to brush and floss twice daily, you avoid sugary snacks when you can and you make regular visits to your dentist for check-ups and cleanings. But as of late, you avoid biting into cold snacks and steer clear of hot drinks. Maybe you even chew solely on one side of your mouth. Why are your teeth suddenly so sensitive?
If you’re doing everything to help your oral health during the day, perhaps it’s time to look to what your teeth do during the night.
If you have sensitive teeth, you might have bruxism – the act of clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep.
Bruxism Definition and Symptoms
If you’ve ever woken up with a sore, painful jaw, or had a persistent headache throughout the day, you might be grinding your teeth in your sleep. According to Colgate, approximately 30-40 million people suffer from grinding or clenching teeth, also known as bruxism. First of all, know that you are not alone.
Nightly teeth-grinding can be caused by a number of factors, including stress and anger, a misaligned jaw, or an overworked masseter muscle (the main muscle responsible for chewing). Often, these symptoms are overlooked or given another explanation. Without a proper diagnosis, the nightly grinding continues and causes more damage to your teeth. Is this type of damage permanent?
What Bruxism Really Does To Your Teeth
If you grind your teeth at night, a lot of unseen damage occurs. Over time, grinding creates tiny cracks in your tooth enamel. Eventually, the enamel is worn away and dentin (the sensitive layer under your enamel) becomes exposed. With the sensitive layer exposed, your teeth become vulnerable to hot and cold temperatures, sugary food/drinks and hard or crunchy foods.
What You Can Do To Prevent Bruxism
If you suffer from teeth sensitivity and suspect you may behave a problem with bruxism, don’t wait! The Palladium Dental Team is happy to check for signs of teeth grinding. We may suggest a custom mouth guard to protect your pearly whites from nighttime erosion. Contact our office today to book a consultation.
With your new nighttime mouthguard in hand, you can finally get the goodnight’s sleep you and your teeth both need!