Symptoms of teeth grinding vary depending on the severity of the bruxism. The symptoms can be viewed in two; symptoms in your body and symptoms in your daily life.
Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism
A visit to the dentist will show how your teeth enamel appear. Signs of bruxism on the enamel include cracking, chipping and wearing out. Cusps and edges of normal teeth appear different from those of a teeth grinder.
In most cases your sleeping partner will be aware of the noises that you make when you grind your teeth. The grating sound can be audible enough to awaken someone.
Morning after symptoms
The symptoms felt in the morning will alert you of a bruxing habit. Jaw tightness, headaches which escalate to migraines, earaches and cheek pain are some of the signs you can notice in the morning.
A good sign of teeth grinding is a groove sign noticeable at the area where the teeth meet the gum. It will take a few years for the groove sign to be visible.
Jaw pain and TMJ
- When tension and stretching occurs around the jaw muscles, it causes inflammation which results in Temporomandibular joint disorder, TMJ. Sufferers of TMJ experience a popping pop sound when moving jaws and may lose hearing in severe cases.
Teeth grinders often feel pain in the teeth when taking something cold or hot. Sensitivity may be felt because the enamel of the teeth is worn out.
Bite marks on cheeks
While grinding your teeth, you can subconsciously bite your cheeks. The bite marks can be a quick way to tell a sign of bruxism.
The image below shows a summary of the symptoms of bruxism.
Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism
Mental and emotional disorders
Stress, anxiety, depression or tension are known to easily trigger teeth grinding.
Lack of sleep
Teeth grinding leads to inadequate or lack of sleep due to interference with the sleeping patterns. If you constantly wake up during the night due to pain from jaw muscles, you could be suffering from bruxism.
Such habits as fingernail biting, chewing your inner cheek, chewing gum are unconscious ways of releasing stress. Teeth grinding is no different.
Eating disorders and indigestion
Bruxism complications arise together with difficulty in chewing. Pain and discomfort while eating makes you miss meals and eat less. Even when you eat, you dont chew the food properly which causes indigestion.
More stress and tension can result from experiencing more than one teeth grinding symptom. This experience can worsen make your bruxism more severe. It is important that you find the cause of your stress and anxiety to effectively treat bruxism.
Teeth Grinding Effects
Teeth grinding is one of the common TMJ (Bruxism) Effects
Bruxism refers to the habit of grinding and clenching your teeth involuntarily, especially at night. Teeth grinding is not always intentional and can also occur during daytime.
There is no conclusive treatment or cure for bruxism. However, research shows that stress is the leading cause of teeth grinding.
Prolonged untreated bruxism can lead to severe side effects in future. It is important to treat teeth grinding as soon as you find out that you have the habit. The symptoms are easily noticeable though they vary depending on how you grind your teeth.
Teeth Grinding Effects: Risks and Complications of Non-treatment
Untreated bruxism leads to wearing out of the teeth enamel. Underneath the enamel is the dentine, which gets exposed after the enamel is worn out. Dentine is soft and wears out faster than the enamel, and then exposes the pulp of the teeth.
The effects of teeth grinding can be long term or short term. Complications may occur if all these bruxism signs are not treated early enough.
Some of the complications include:
Grinding and clenching exerts enormous pressure on the teeth. The pressure can in turn flatten your teeth or wear them out. The result is possible teeth loss. Occlusal trauma and gum recession can also occur due to teeth cracking and chipping.
When eating or talking, the upper teeth get into contact with the lower jaws. Occlusal trauma occurs when pain results from these activities. Occlusal trauma is a severe symptom that manifests after extensive teeth grinding.
Wearing out of the teeth enamel means that food will not be chewed properly. This in turn leads to digestive problems. Indigestion then leads to poor health. Teeth grinders also have poor eating habits. When the required dietary intake is reduced, a person may miss some nutrients and suffer from various vitamin deficiency ailments.
Headaches and Migraines
Teeth grinding has also been found to cause headaches, earaches and migraines. The headaches mostly experienced in the morning may be as a result of sleep apnea and restlessness at night.
TMJ and Discomfort
Severe teeth grinding causes discomfort and results into TMJ.
The above are some of the effects of bruxism. Make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible to diagnose the causes of your condition and recommend the best treatment for you.
It is important to visit a dentist if you suspect you are grinding your teeth. You can also use a mouth guard to protect your teeth from further damage. Find reviews of the best mouth guards for teeth grinding here.