How to Diagnose Teeth Grinding?


How To Diagnose Teeth Grinding – Some Simple Tips

When you grind your teeth, it is often done during the night while you are asleep. This can naturally make it hard to detect, as the problem goes under the radar when you aren’t awake to see or feel it. Self-diagnosing Bruxism is therefore not a straightforward process, because you lack evidence of the primary symptom. If you share your bed, then noisy teeth grinding may attract the attention of the person you share it with. It is still leaving a lot to chance, however, so it is wise to be aware of what else you can use to get a better idea of whether you are dealing with Bruxism.

If you suspect that teeth grinding at night may have something to do with other health problems you are experiencing, then your first move should be to consult a dentist. This may not be cheap, but no-one is better placed to detect the tell-tale signs of Bruxism than a dentist. It will be they who can inspect your mouth and look out for the important indicators such as worn-down enamel, shipped teeth and lost crowns. They may also be able to identify how far your condition has progressed, and then see what can be done about it.

It should be stressed that even if you are not pleased with the cost of visiting a dentist, there is so big a difference to be gained from visiting one that it makes the expense worthwhile. There are other things you can do to lead you to a diagnosis, but an expert opinion is really invaluable. Your dentist will ascertain the presence of Bruxism and will then ask questions to get a picture of why it is happening. You should always answer those questions honestly – even if it feels a little bit humbling, the truth is the surest path to the best treatment.

These questions may revolve around matters such as your general health, your stress levels, any medication you are taking for other conditions and habits such as caffeine and alcohol. It may also benefit the dentist to ask questions of someone who shares a room with you; it may well be that they have witnessed your teeth grinding more clearly than you have. By asking the right questions and getting honest answers, your dentist can indicate the best path for treatment of the condition as time goes on.

Sometimes the diagnosis of a secondary condition can lead to the diagnosis of the primary one which causes it. For example, a patient may be diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency which then points doctors to a condition such as coeliac disease or lactose intolerance. This may also be the case with Bruxism. You may have developed headaches or jaw problems as a result of Bruxism which may lead the doctor or dentist back to the source. Equally, Bruxism itself may be the secondary condition and may be caused by something else.

You may also like to ask someone you know quite well, directly, whether or not they have noticed anything strange when they are awake and you are asleep. Many of us have a friend, spouse or partner who has helpfully informed us that our snoring keeps them awake at night. Like snoring, Bruxism is something that generally happens nocturnally, so if you have been sharing a bed or a room there is a good chance that the person with whom you have been sharing has noticed the sound that you make while asleep. Teeth grinding is considered to make a “creaking” noise.

Often, Bruxism is something that is stumbled across at the end of a long medical journey that starts with something seemingly unconnected. It may be that you go to bed and seem to sleep right through until your alarm goes, but still wake up feeling barely refreshed, with a headache or some other feeling of discomfort. This may well be because although you have slept, you haven’t fully rested. The act of clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth can cause real physical tension which may be at the source of various complaints connected to your sleep routine.

There is a fine line between being vigilant over symptoms and becoming something of a hypochondriac. It would not be right or accurate to say that you should treat every symptom with equal seriousness, but being aware of the symptoms which can help identify Bruxism is no bad thing. Sufferers often wake up with a tension headache or pain in their facial muscles. Sometimes they will wake up with their jaw still clenched. It may also be that the act of grinding your teeth has caused, or been caused by, a misaligned bite. You can check for that now by mimicking a straight up-and-down bite action and seeing whether the teeth meet comfortably.

Perhaps the most important advice that can be given to someone trying to ascertain if they have Bruxism is simply this: Don’t be afraid to ask. Your dentist, your doctor and even a friend or family member may be able to give you enlightening information based on a question. With Bruxism, the most important thing about getting treatment is to identify and confront the condition as soon as possible. The fact of the matter is that the sooner you get a diagnosis, the sooner you can treat the condition and get a full picture of how to proceed from there.

If left unchecked, Bruxism can lead to a lot of unpleasant side conditions including ones which would seem to be largely unconnected. For this reason, even if the idea of grinding your teeth in and of itself does not bother you unduly, it really behoves you to think about what might arise if you just let it go. Bruxism is a condition with as many complications as it has symptoms, and when you can make such a big difference by meeting it head on, it makes nothing but sense to be aware of the symptoms and how you can address them.

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