Bruxism is a dental term for “tooth grinding.” You may be aware if you grit or grind your teeth during the day. It usually occurs in stressful situations, although many times it is an unconscious habit. There are lifestyle changes, such as breathing techniques and meditation that can help reduce stress in our waking lives. Nighttime tooth grinding occurs while you are asleep, so you may not be aware that it happens. Your dentist and dental hygienist always have an eye out for signs of bruxism at your preventive check up appointments.

Reports From Loved Ones

The sounds of bruxism can usually be heard by sleeping partners. Parents may hear it when checking on children at night. Some cases have been described as sounding like two rocks grinding together, or the sound of gnashing teeth. If someone has told you that you grind your teeth at night, see a dental professional to follow up. He or she can offer dental appliances to counteract bruxism.

Daytime Jaw Pain Or TMJ Pain

Not surprisingly, the pressures of tooth grinding affect the bones and muscles in the jaw. You may notice a fatigue in the jaw, or pain in the temporomandibular (TMJ) area, where the jaw means the lower face. A chronic (ongoing) dull ache or soreness in the jaw may indicate bruxism. Jaw pain upon eating is also a symptom.

Tooth Fractures

You may not be able to see microscopic tooth fractures, but your dentist and dental hygienist can. Grinding subjects tooth surfaces to high pressure, and the enamel layer (which is hard, but not immune to injury) can get microscopic cracks. If left untreated, these cracks can enlarge, allowing bacteria and infection to penetrate the tooth, creating a cavity. Fractures can also lead to tooth breakage, and the need for a dental crown or other restorative dental procedure.

Riverside Dental Group and Dental Associate Offices Serves a Community Near You!

Our dentists look forward to caring for you and every member of your family with a comprehensive selection of services. We will maintain and improve your oral health with a wide range of preventive, cosmetic, restorative, implant, and emergency dentistry techniques. We also specialize in endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, and orthodontics, serving patients from Riverside, Temecula, Moreno Valley, Corona, and all surrounding California communities. To schedule an appointment, contact one of the following locations nearest to you:

Riverside Dental Group at Magnolia in Riverside, CA at (951) 689-5031.

Dental Associates of Moreno Valley in Moreno Valley, CA at (951) 697-6800

Riverside Dental Group at Woodcrest in Riverside, CA at (951) 776-9001.

Oasis Family Dental in Temecula, CA at (951) 695-2290.

Dental Associates of Riverside in Riverside, CA at (951) 369-1001.

Dental Associates of Corona in Corona, CA at (951) 273-9580