Encinitas Dentist Gives Clues that Suggest You May Have Bruxism

Are you teeth sensitive to temperature?

Can you bite into ice cream or drink a hot cup of coffee without cringing? If hot or cold foods hurt your teeth, you may be experiencing symptoms of teeth grinding, bruxism. Here’s how some tooth sensitivity can develop. The center of your tooth, known as the tooth pulp, is the nerve center of your entire tooth. This part of the tooth is surrounded by a soft layer of dentin and a hard layer of enamel. The dentin is made of microscopic tubes which transfer sensation to the tooth’s nerves. Enamel protects the dentin with a hard outer shell.

Made from the hardest substance your body can produce, enamel is destroyed by teeth grinding. Tooth sensitivity can occur as a result of erosion, abrasion, attrition or abfraction.  When tooth structure is worn away the exposed dentin and tooth pulp can become sensitive to extreme temperatures in what you eat and drink.

Do you have chronic morning headaches or earaches?

Often associated with bruxism, TMJ disorder, or TMD, is a condition related to jaw issues. The jaw joint that allows you to open your mouth and chew is called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. Since nocturnal bruxism involves inappropriate teeth grinding throughout the night, your jaw muscles can become exhausted from clenching pressure, contributing to TMJ disorder. Symptoms of TMD include headaches, neck pain, and earaches especially in the morning.

Do you notice more tooth decay than usual at your dental checkup?

If your enamel is worn from clenching and grinding, your teeth may experience more temperature sensitivity, and also have more vulnerability to tooth decay.  The loss of enamel increases the risk of decay.  At a dental checkup our Encinitas dentist can determine if you’re smile is suffering from advanced tooth decay.

Treatment for Teeth Grinding in Encinitas

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms of teeth grinding, you may have bruxism. Protect your smile by contacting our Encinitas dental office to schedule a dental exam. Our caring dental team will help restore your oral health by addressing teeth grinding and TMJ disorder. Call (760) 642-0711 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Kania’s office is located at 345 Saxony Road, Suite 203, Encinitas, CA 92024. She serves patients from Encinitas, Del Mar, La Costa, Rancho Santa Fe, and all neighboring San Diego communities.