Signs That Your Teeth May Be Suffering Damage While You Sleep
Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is a dental condition that affects up to 10% of the population. This grinding often happens at night, when you are unaware that you are clenching your jaws. Teeth grinding is often diagnosed after you or your dentist notice changes in your teeth and their health.
Cracks or Chips
Constant grinding puts excessive stress on the structure of your teeth. You may notice visible chips or cracks in your teeth when you examine them in a mirror. Cracks can expose the pulp and nerves of your teeth, leading to dental sensitivity in response to heat, cold, and certain flavors such as sour or sweet.
Shortened or Flattened Teeth
Although tooth enamel is strong, grinding motions can wear it away. Your teeth may appear shorter in a short period of time, changing the way your smile looks. The grooves of your molars and rounded edges of your front teeth may appear shallower or flatter as well, a sign that your jaws are forcing them together at night.
Audible Grinding or Snoring
If you have a sleep partner, they may notice audible grinding or clenching noises while you are asleep. In some cases, these noises can even be loud enough to wake someone sleeping beside you. Studies have also linked bruxism to sleep apnea, which causes loud snoring and gasping for breath during sleep.
Morning Jaw Pain
Pain or soreness in your jaw or face upon waking could indicate nighttime tooth grinding. Your facial muscles may feel sore or ache throughout the day as well. Bruxism can also cause headaches and earaches, so if your physician has ruled out other ear problems, your pain could have a dental origin.
If your teeth have been damaged by prolonged grinding, your Sanford dentist can help with options such as crowns, bonding, and veneers to restore your beautiful smile. Call Sanford Dental Excellence today at (407) 268-6409 to find out more about your cosmetic dentistry options in Lake Mary. Visit our website to learn more about maintaining a healthy mouth.