Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is often viewed as a harmless, though annoying, habit. Some people develop bruxism from an inability to deal with stress or anxiety. It is thought that around one in ten adults experiences problems stemming from bruxism, making it one of the most common para-functional habits related to the mouth. Teeth grinding can literally transform your bite relationship and worse, severely damage your teeth and jaws over long periods of time. It can cause abrasion to the chewing surfaces of your teeth. This abnormal wear and tear will prematurely age and loosen your teeth, and open them to problems such as hypersensitivity (from the small cracks that form, exposing your dentin). Bruxism can also lead to chronic jaw and facial pain. If no one has told you that you grind your teeth, here are a few clues that you may suffer from bruxism:
1. Worn Teeth - Your dentist may notice that your teeth are worn and flattened, often the first indicator of a problem. Usually, your canine teeth may also show signs of wear.
2. Headaches - Clenching your teeth causes tension in the muscles of your jaw and can cause headaches— even serious migraines. If you wake up with a headache some mornings and don’t know why it could be due to overnight teeth grinding.
3. Sore Jaw - jaw pain that comes and goes or is consistent could be a signal of bruxism. Your jaw may also feel tired or weak from the tightening it undergoes while you sleep. You may also have trouble opening or closing your mouth, or pain may extend into the ear area, feeling like an earache.
Long term relieving some of your day to day stress will help. Such as exercise, meditation or some simple "me time". In the meantime, your dentist can fit you for a mouth guard. For more information Click Here.