Has anyone ever told you that you make an awful grating noise with your mouth when you sleep? Do you wake up with tired jaw, neck, or shoulder muscles or headaches? Is your mouth opening limited or do you get pops, clicks, or hitches when you open and or close? These are all signs and symptoms of bruxism with possible TMJ involvement.

Grinding causes pointed teeth to wear flat, often canines first, then followed by other anterior and or posterior teeth. The canine teeth are at the corners of the mouth and are the strongest rooted. The job of the canines is to separate all other teeth while chewing. If the canines are worn enough to prevent their proper functioning, all the other teeth are placed potentially in harms way. The noise a grinder makes while sleeping is the full-on gnashing of teeth wearing each other away.

The other type of parafunctional habit that makes up bruxism is clenching. For the most part, clenching is a silent habit. Unfortunately, the damages that it can cause are not so silent. Chips, fractures of fillings and teeth, tooth mobility (looseness), tooth position changes, tooth pain, muscle pain/soreness, damage to the Temporomandibular joint/disc and headaches are some of the worst effects. Clenching can be also be a daytime habit and can lead to tension, cluster, and even migraine headaches.

Treatment of these damaging habits can be as simple as wearing a small splint device. Consult your dentist or contact us for more information.