Bruxism could be the reason you’re experiencing headaches and other general health problems
Bruxism is the common habit of overly grinding and clenching your teeth and jaw. A lot of our patients simply don’t realise they have this possibly harmful habit because it can occur during sleep, and patients can most often ignore the symptoms.
When this happens, it is important to visit your dentist.
While your teeth touch when you eat, this is completely normal and should not develop into bruxism. A lot of the time, however, when people become stressed, anxious or upset, they can clench their jaw and teeth and most of the time this goes unnoticed. This only becomes a large problem when it is repeated over time and is not treated. When bruxism is not treated, it can result in many more irritating health problems.
1) Headaches and Facial Pain
The pain you receive from your jaw because of bruxism can spread to your cheek and temple resulting in headaches. Headaches are a common result of bruxism; a lot of patients do not consider speaking to their dentist. People suffering from bruxism are three times more likely to suffer from headaches than those without bruxism.
2) Earaches and Pain
Earaches can often be described as dull, sharp or even generate a burning-type pain. This can occur because of the connection between the ear and jaw. If you’re experiencing jaw clicking or pain, it is usually conveyed to ear pain.
3) Jaw pain and Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Are you experiencing popping, clicking or grating noises while you chew or move your mouth? Perhaps your jaw is feeling tight or even stuck while chewing and eating. This can make a simple activity like eating a problematic task. If this feeling is left untreated it can develop into Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ).
4) Wearing of tooth enamel – flat teeth, fractures, chips and loose
Tooth enamel is the hard substance that surrounds your tooth, like the shell that protects the inside of your teeth, ensuring that day to day activities do not harm your teeth. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body – which means we should be taking care of it! After clenching and grinding your teeth, this enamel can wear down. After some time your teeth can become flat, and you will notice increased sensitivity with your teeth due to fractures, chips and your gums pulling away from your teeth, causing them to become loose.
5) Sleep disorders and sleep apnoea
Due to the pain bruxism causes, this is usually the reason why sufferers have trouble gaining their full 8 hours. Another reason can often be the bruxism is so severe the clenching and grinding of their teeth can often wake their partners or even themselves! When you are not getting proper sleep, this can lead to even more health problems – which provides even more of a reason to get this nasty habit treated.
At Smile Perfection, we understand you may not realise these symptoms initially. If any of these symptoms are ringing a bell – it’s important to consult with your dentist about what you can do to ease this habit. Custom-made mouth guards, worn comfortably at night are usually what we prescribe, as this relieves the pressure put on your teeth and jaw when you are involuntarily grinding and clenching.