Bruxism means chronic teeth-grinding, so naturally, its most obvious symptom is the constant, unconscious grinding of your teeth. However, just because you catch yourself grinding your teeth on occasion doesn’t necessarily mean you have a bruxism problem that needs addressing. At our Des Moines, IA, dental office, we can help you determine if you really do have bruxism and can benefit from a custom-made appliance to protect your smile. For example, if you exhibit one or more of these signs, then it may be time to speak with us about treating bruxism.
Your teeth are becoming more sensitive every day
If you grind your teeth once in a while, but keep them healthy, then the protective layer of enamel around them should be more than enough to withstand it. However, if you have bruxism, the grinding occurs more often than you realize, especially at night, and the repetitive pressure and friction can gradually wear down your teeth’s protective enamel. This makes them increasingly more sensitive, and likewise, more vulnerable to harmful oral bacteria. If not addressed soon, the degradation of your tooth enamel can lead to the development of a cavity (tooth decay), as well as increased risks of damage to your teeth.
Your bite starts to feel different somehow
Your tooth enamel isn’t the only thing that bruxism wears down. In time, it can also noticeably wear down the chewing surfaces of your teeth, changing how your teeth meet each other every time you bite and chew. The changes can be discreet at first, but the longer you continue grinding your teeth unchecked, the greater the wear will be on your teeth. The more your bite changes, the more uneven your bite pressure will become, making wear and damage to your teeth even more severe.
Your jaw muscles get exhausted way too easily
While most of the pressure generated by teeth-grinding affects your teeth, its generated within your jaw’s joints and muscles, which exert a tremendous amount of force. The more frequently you grind your teeth, the faster your jaw muscles will grow tired from normal actions like biting and chewing your food. This may be an early indication of damage to your temporomandibular joints (TMJs), or TMJ disorder, and the condition will make it harder to bite, chew, and speak the worse it gets.
Find out if you need treatment for bruxism
The early symptoms of bruxism are important warning signs to treat your condition, before it and the symptoms get much worse. For more information, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.