You might not even realize that you do it most of the time. In fact, many people that grind their teeth habitually do so at night, while they’re sleeping. However, when grinding your teeth becomes a problem, the consequences can lead to more serious dental issues that can grow even worse the longer it’s left untreated. Your best bet lies in visiting your dentist regularly to keep a close eye on your dental health and detect the signs of bruxism early.
When you grind your together, it wears away the protective layer of minerals around them, called enamel. Healthy enamel acts as a barrier for the main structure of your tooth, called dentin, and as it wears away, the more sensitive dentin can begin to ache.
Besides enamel, teeth-grinding can also wear down the chewing surfaces of your teeth, making your bite feel off because your teeth no longer meet each other squarely. The more your teeth wear down, the worse the imbalance will become.
The stress and pressure of grinding not only wears down your teeth, but also the joints (TMJs) and muscles that control your jaw’s movement. If your jaw joints become exhausted, damaged, or forced out of alignment – conditions that can be referred to as TMJ disorder – then you might begin to experience chronic, worsening headaches.
If you notice these symptoms, or if your dentist detects signs of bruxism, then you should seek treatment as soon as possible to restore your smile and prevent more serious dental damage.