Grinding Your Teeth
Many times patients get Bruxism (grinding your teeth) confused with clenching. It’s really very simple! With bruxism your jaw is moving from side to side, front to back, or both! With clenching you’re not moving your jaw at all…you’re just biting as hard as you can in one spot! Bruxism can also cause a lot of damage, and like clenching, most commonly occurs while you’re asleep.
Here are some common signs of bruxism:
- Flat spots (wear facets) on the teeth.
- Chewing surfaces as a whole are getting flatter.
- Enamel is wearing away and the dentin layer is exposed.
- Attrition of the front teeth (they’re getting shorter).
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea. There seems to be a strong correlation with these two problems Once frequently is found with the other.
It’s a good idea to get a professionally fitted night guard to wear while you sleep is you suffer from bruxism. If allowed to continue, you can break off corners of your teeth, expose the nerve, and wear off so much tooth structure that you need a crown. Some say it’s cheap insurance against having to do a lot of crowns!