Bruxism is a fairly common medical condition that affects between 8% and ⅓ of the population. Otherwise known as teeth grinding, and closely related to teeth clenching, it typically occurs at night while a person is sleeping. Because of this, a lot of people aren’t aware that they do grind their teeth until their dentist gives them the heads-up and recommends purchasing a teeth night guard. However to avoid further unnecessary teeth/jaw damage and prolonged discomfort, it’s important to pinpoint bruxism symptoms early on and treat accordingly.
What exactly is it that a dentist checks for to determine if a patient suffers from teeth grinding? The most obvious indicator is visible damage; chipped tipped, cracked teeth, damaged dental work such as crowns and fillings, chewed cheeks, receding gums, and flat looking worn teeth (known as dental attrition). A dentist may also use X-rays to look for hidden signs in the teeth and jaw bone.
Luckily, you can check for most of those visible symptoms for yourself at home. Other symptoms are even more self-telling such as the tension headaches that many teeth grinders wake up with in the morning. These headaches can be mild to severe, and may be focused around the temples. If you often wake up with headaches that wear off as the day goes on, you could very well be grinding or clenching your teeth at night. Many people who grind or clench their teeth often experience jaw pain or jaw soreness upon waking and throughout the rest of the day. In addition, teeth grinding and clenching can cause sensitive teeth due to worn enamel. The exposed dentin is more tender and delicate than the outermost tooth layer, causing increased tooth sensitivity and even faster damage by grinding. Finally, teeth grinding is often audible. A person’s partner or another individual sleeping in the same room may hear a grinding/scraping noise coming from a teeth grinder as they sleep.
If you’re experiencing any combination of these symptoms, there’s a good chance that you’re grinding or clenching your teeth at night. To avoid worsening symptoms and irreversible damage, it’s important to treat the condition as quickly as possible. A dentist would recommend purchasing a teeth grinding guard through him or her, but this could cost anywhere between $300-800 and beyond. Luckily, you can skip the middle-man and purchase an identical dentist-quality custom fitted dental night guard online with Pro Teeth Guard and save hundreds of dollars. Click here to take a look at a few different types of night guards.