Teeth grinding may seem like a harmless habit that you unconsciously do when you feel stressed, angry, or frustrated. However, long-term grinding of teeth can seriously harm your dental health. If you constantly grind your teeth together, you will most likely experience jaw pain; this is because the jaw joints are exposed to extra pressure every time you bring your teeth forcefully together, and this force harms the joints. If you grind your teeth at night, you may wake up with a headache instead of feeling refreshed, as the constant teeth grinding can result to pain that radiates from the jaw to the entire head or neck areas.
How will you know if you grind your teeth at night? As mentioned, one of the most common symptoms is the headaches or jaw pain when you wake up in the morning. Your jaw may feel sore from all the unconscious jaw clenching the night before. If you don’t sleep alone, ask your partner if you emit crunching sounds as you sleep. Those sounds are actually your teeth grinding forcefully against one another.
Prematurely worn teeth can also indicate a teeth grinding problem. This is due to the enamel being worn thin by the constant friction and pressure from grinding the teeth together. If you think you have a teeth grinding problem, talk to your dentist about it as soon as possible. You can ask for a mouth guard which can protect your teeth while you sleep. Other treatments and solutions can also be considered, depending on the cause of your teeth grinding problem.