Teeth grinding or medically referred to as bruxism is a health condition that according to study estimates affect 50% of the population. That is half of the 6.5 billion people on this planet! Yet not many bruxers (people who grind their teeth) are aware that they suffer from this condition until serious related health problems start to show. And those who do become aware make up less than 10% of the actual figures.
You yourself may have bruxism and not even know it. The reason behind this is because teeth grinding usually occurs unsciously when on is asleep. Check through the list of symptoms below to see whether you might have bruxism and in the teeth grinding diagnosis section, I’ll share with you a no brainer technique to confim whether you grind your teeth in sleep.
Sore Jaw That Clicks or Pops
The intensity of teeth grinding often causes a soreness in the jaw with more serious cases resulting in pain. Bruxers will also find that when they move their jaw in certain directions or try to open their mouths wide, a dull clicking or popping sensation can be felt. Sometimes, bruxers can barely open their mouths at all making eating, drinking or even kissing a challenging task.
Do you constantly find yourself getting out of bed with a headache? The muscles surrounding your jaw area is directly connected to the temporal region. Repeated contraction of these muscles for extended periods of time can create tension that causes these headaches.
Similarly to headaches, jaw muscles affect the ear region that results in sometimes splittingly painful earaches.
Asides headaches and earaches, teeth grinding affects most of the muscles in your face. Imagine scrunching up your face real hard for 3-4 hours non stop. You will get quite a workout to tighten the skin but most likely you’ll be suffering from the pains in your cheek muscles as well.
Severe cases of bruxism can lead to trapezius (neck, shoulder, upper mid-back) pain. If stress is the cause of teeth grinding, most likely your neck and shoulder muscles are tightly wound up as well.
Sensitive Teeth and Gums
Up to 600 pounds per square inch of pressure. That is how intense teeth grinding can get when you grind in your sleep. This enourmous amount of pressure is placed directly on your teeth and gums which can weaken them significantly. The teeth and gums become extremely sensitive to hot and cold food/drinks.
Flattened or Chipped Teeth
A quick look in the mirror should reveal whether your teeth has been worn down flat or chipped especially in the edges. Teeth rubbing back and forth violently against each other for extended periods of time will definitely cause this.
Worn Out Teeth Enamel
The enamel is the protective outer layer of your teeth. This layer can be worn out with constant teeth grinding and expose the sensitive layers beneath. Regular trips to the dentist can help detect worn out enamel but you can try to determine it yourself by checking whether your teeth are irregular in colour. This may be an indication of teeth enamel being grinded off. Sensitivity to hot and cold food/drinks is also sign of worn down enamel especially on the tips of any tooth jutting out like what I personally refer to as my vampire teeth.
Damaged Cheek Tissue
Try and lick the insides of your cheek. If you constantly find a small lump appearing in there, that could be an indication of cheek tissues getting in the way of any teeth grinding activity. Damaged cheek tissue is also very easy to spot if you spread out your inner facial cheek in front of a mirror. If you tend to sleep on your side, cheek tissue damage will most likely occur as a result of bruxism.