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 in the Body
- Teeth appearance; 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.
- Grinding noises; 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.
- Teeth-gum junction; 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 sensitivity; 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 in your daily life
- 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.
- Behavior; 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 don’t 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.