Is it possible to grind your teeth without knowing?

The answer is yes. Grinding of the teeth typically occurs at night when you are sleeping. You can place an enormous amount of force on your teeth when sleeping. Ideally during the day your teeth should not touch. You should always have space between your teeth. You should not feel your teeth touch while eating or speaking. So generally speaking in all daily functions, your teeth should be open with space between them.

With this in mind, when we see teeth that are worn it is often due to nighttime grinding. Once teeth wear through the outer hard layer of enamel into the softer second layer, the amount of wear will accelerate seven times quicker. So as an example, if you are 50 and have worn through the enamel layer you may be thinking you still have a long time before having pain or sensitivity. This is not the case and the longer you wait the harder it will be to fix the problem.

The most conservative way to preserve your tooth structure is to wear a night time appliance called a nightguard. This is custom made to fit your teeth. It can actually prevent muscle pain and tooth damage from happening.

We can also take a diagnostic look at why you are grinding your teeth. This is a resource that we use to look at your bite and teeth to be sure they are properly aligned. We can then determine a specific and individualized plan for your mouth to give you the most stable bite. This will ensure that your teeth function properly and are preserved for a lifetime.

Tooth wear is one of the most prevelant and misdiagnosed problems in dentistry today. We are now keeping our teeth much longer due to advancements of products that manage the bacterial issues causing cavities and gum issues. Luckily this too is a problem that can be solved and prevented.

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