Most people who grind or clench their teeth aren’t aware of this habit. Clinically, this condition is referred to as bruxism. It often occurs at night. In many cases, it’s transient and/or mild, so there’s less of a concern. Here are some common signs of bruxism:
- Wear patterns on biting surfaces of teeth
- Exposed dentin (tooth structure underneath the enamel)
- Tooth sensitivity
- Cracklines and chips on teeth
- Uneven bite
- Over-developed chewing muscles
- Aching muscles and in severe cases, headaches
- Popping and clicking of the jaw can also develop
Although it is ideal to address the source of the problem, it is often difficult to do as there are a number of contributing factors. Stress is one contributing factor that is commonly noted. You may have even noticed these habits around stressful times in your life.
If it isn’t possible to address the source, what are my options?
Prevention is key. Although it is challenging to prevent grinding or clenching in many cases, there are a number of solutions to prevent the damaging effects on your teeth and your jaw joints. Night guards or mouth guards come in various forms and designs to protect your teeth in different ways. Dr. Lin will evaluate your unique situation to recommend the right option for you.