Most people who grind their teeth frequently do it during their sleep. So, if you are sleeping when you do it, how do you know if you are grinding your teeth? You may notice that you wake up with headaches or a sore jaw. You could find during the day that you are clenching your jaw more often than not. You might suffer from teeth sensitivity to cold or hot foods. These are some of the signs that could indicate that you are grinding your teeth. Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, can cause several complications for your oral health. 

Increase Your Risk of TMD

TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. Your temporomandibular joint is the hinge joint that moves your jaw. Your jaw is one of the most complicated joints in your entire body; it can move up and down, side to side, and forward and back. TMD can be caused by the excessive wear on the joint from grinding of your teeth. TMD can lead to a chronic soreness in the jaw, face, neck, and even shoulders. The disorder can cause jaw popping and lockjaw, which is the painful condition where your jaw locks into place. Lockjaw can sometimes require assistance from a medical professional to move your jaw.

Tooth Damage and Tooth Decay

The tiny fractures in your teeth formed by the friction of grinding can lead to damage and decay. Fractures in your teeth’s surface, even small, can leave your teeth weak and vulnerable to breaking. Harmful bacteria is tiny enough to hide in the cracks created by grinding. This bacteria can stay hidden during your brushing and flossing, which can give it time to attack your teeth.  The bacteria has a head start causing damage to the enamel, so it can escalate more quickly into a serious cavity and beyond.

Grinding your teeth can cause complications

To prevent complications, bruxism can be treated. Schedule a consultation at Mansfield Dental Associates by calling 817-473-6227. Located in Mansfield, TX, we also welcome patients and families from all surrounding communities including South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and more.