Have you ever caught yourself grinding your teeth together? It’s actually a pretty common occurrence for most people. If you get upset or anxious, you may start to grind your teeth as a reaction. These small doses of teeth grinding aren’t necessarily a huge problem, but if you’re someone who always grinds their teeth, this can do some serious damage. Teeth grinding causes wear on the enamel of your teeth. Eventually, those layers of enamel grind down and leave your tooth vulnerable to possible infection.
Your Dental Enamel Is a Strong, Protective Layer
Your teeth are strong and durable, thanks to the protective layer of enamel on the outside. Dental enamel is a mineralized substance that protects the vulnerable dentin and pulp components of your tooth below. While your dental enamel is durable, it can still wear down over time due to bacterial activity or teeth grinding. As your enamel weakens, or as layers are worn away, it can affect the connectivity of your bite, and it can also leave your teeth susceptible to harm from physical or microbiological sources.
Teeth Grinding in Your Sleep Is Known as Bruxism
If you keep your teeth clean, you drastically reduce your risk for cavities. Your enamel can still be damaged by unconscious teeth grinding. Teeth grinding as you sleep is known as bruxism. This condition affects many adults, and you may not even be aware that you have it. Bruxism can be caused by stress, an already uneven bite, or a joint disorder in your jaw (known as “TMJ”). If these conditions are causing bruxism, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep and causing damage to your enamel.
Are You Experiencing Jaw Pain When You Wake Up?
Diagnosing a condition that affects you while you sleep isn’t easy. Are you waking up in the morning with unexplained jaw pain or headaches? Are you experiencing pain in the jaw joints near your temple? These can be signs that you are suffering from TMJ or bruxism. If you have any concerns over the issue, you should talk to your dentist about them. Often, your dentist can evaluate the state of your surface enamel and your bite to diagnose the condition. If you do have bruxism, your dentist may be able to fit you with a custom oral appliance to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Talk to Our Team at Cedar Dental About Bruxism
If you are experiencing unexplained jaw or tooth pain when you wake up in the morning, it may be caused by teeth grinding in your sleep. Talk to our team at Cedar Dental during your next dentist appointment. We can evaluate your teeth for any signs of premature wear and determine whether a custom oral appliance is right for you. Schedule an appointment at Cedar Dental in Cedar Rapids, IA by calling 319-364-7108.