If your dentist in Renton has diagnosed you with bruxism, you are not alone. Also known as teeth grinding, bruxism can occur in patients of all ages. A dentist does not know what causes bruxism. However, many people who suffer from bruxism are also anxious, under stress, taking certain medications, or have abnormally aligned upper and lower teeth. Fortunately, a dentist can easily treat bruxism and prevent further damage to your teeth and gums. Keep reading to learn more about the signs and symptoms of bruxism, including noticeable chips, dull headaches, and sensitive teeth.
A dentist often cautions patients to look for noticeable chips in their teeth as one of the clearest signs of severe bruxism. Many people are unaware that they grind their teeth until a dentist sees visible cracks, fractures, or chips that cannot be explained by any other injury. However, tooth fractures can also be signs of tooth decay, so it is important to discuss your symptoms with your dentist.
If you grind your teeth while you sleep, you may also wake up with a dull headache. When the teeth are powerfully pushed against each other, it can cause significant pain. Some people seek family dental care for headaches and jaw soreness only to find out that they are unknowingly grinding their teeth. A severe earache is another common symptom of bruxism. While bruxism may cause pain in the ear area, individuals do not actually have an ear infection, and are instead simply sore from teeth grinding.
Bruxism causes the tooth enamel to wear down, which results in serious tooth sensitivity. The tooth enamel is the hard, outermost layer of your tooth structure. When the tooth enamel disappears, it cannot grow back on its own. Unfortunately, without your tooth enamel, you can experience extreme sensitivity and even tooth pain when you encounter hot, cold, or especially sweet food and drinks.