How Can You Tell If You Have Been Grinding Your Teeth At Night?

The grinding of teeth, medically called Bruxism, can cause permanent damage to the enamel of your teeth. While sleeping the pressure of bruxing can be up to six times greater than when awake, approximately 250 pounds of force per square inch! People who grind and clench their teeth are referred to as bruxers and in many cases do you even realize the damage they are unintentionally causing to their teeth.

If not treated, the long term effects of Bruxism can lead to:

  • Damage to teeth.
  • Broken fillings.
  • Tooth sensitivity.
  • Jaw pain.
  • Difficulty in opening and closing the jaw.
  • Headaches.

Bruxism

How can you tell if you are grinding your teeth?

If you have been grinding your teeth there are some signs an symptoms that commonly appear. One of the primary signs that may indicate Bruxism is waking up with a sore jaw. If you wake frequently and wake up in the morning feeling tired this could also be an indication that you are unconsciously grind your teeth at night. However, there are many causes of disturbed sleep habits, so you will want to look for any of the additional signs and symptoms below.

Signs and symptoms of Bruxism:

  • Sore Jaw muscles, especially in the morning.
  • Discomfort around the ears when chewing or yawning.
  • Morning headaches.
  • Insomnia.
  • Rhythmic contractions of the jaw muscles.
  • Hot, cold sensitivity in the teeth.

Consulting with Your Dentist

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth you need to visit your dentist. A dentist will be able to see if there are any tooth wear, a telltale sign of Bruxism. Your dentist can provide you with a mouth guard to wear when you sleep. This will prevent damage to your teeth and can also help to alleviate jaw pain. Don’t wait until the damage has been done, if you suspect you are grinding your teeth contact your dentist today!

4 Easy Yet Effective Tips to Tame Sensitive Teeth

If a sip of tea or a taste of your favorite ice cream is making you wince in pain, you are not alone. A large number of of our patients visit our dental practice< for the first time, come in complaining of sensitive teeth.

While sensitive teeth is actually a symptom in itself, not each case of sensitivity has to do with an underlying disease. This means you can actually do something about it such as revise your lifestyle or change certain habits.

 Why It Happens

Before figuring out the tips and tricks to preventing the occurrence of sensitive teeth, it is equally important to understand why it happens in the first place.

By and large, a healthy tooth is characterized by the appearance of enamel as its outermost covering. Underneath the enamel is the cementum which protects the tooth root. If you delve deeper, you’ll come across the dentin which is covered by both the cementum and the enamel. Microscopic tubules containing nerve endings are found within the dentin.

When your enamel and cementum are worn-out, tooth sensitivity happens because the tubules containing nerve endings are now exposed to extreme temperatures from the food you eat. Thus, the sudden sharp, shooting pain you experience!

You have now probably figure out that it all boils down to avoiding the enamel or cementum from being worn out. Below are easy yet effective ways to avoiding enamel erosion!

1. Avoid or limit highly acidic foods such as sodas, highly sweetened drinks, oranges and lemons. Also, limit your tea or coffee intake which are also acidic. If you need to drink them, try to swish your mouth with water after consumption of the aforementioned rinks. You can also try to drink them from a straw.

2. Try using warmer water the next time you brush your teeth.

3. If you grind your teeth at night, seek treatment as excessive grinding can wear away your tooth enamel.

4. Change your brushing habits. If you brush vigorously, you are actually doing more harm than good. In addition, try using soft-bristled toothbrush instead.

If you’ve done all four of these tips and tooth sensitivity still persists, we encourage you to get in touch with us so we can figure out the root cause. Call us at (713) 330-7700 or fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment. We look forward to your visit!

 

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