01 Nov Expensive and Painful After Effects of Tooth Grinding
It’s midday, you’re at work, and you’re experiencing some major pain in your head and jaws. Pain killers are a temporary fix, but they wear off, distracting you from your work and maybe even sending you home early.
What if the pain in your head is linked to something you’re doing when you’re not even conscious of it? What if you’re clenching and tooth grinding while you’re asleep?
The effects of clenching and grinding your teeth during your sleep range from annoying to severely painful. They include:
- Worn tooth enamel, causing heightened sensitivity to overly cold or hot foods/beverages
- Anywhere from a dull to excruciating headache
- Pain that feels like it’s in your ear, but it’s actually connected to your jaw
- Chipped or cracked teeth, causing major issues with eating
- Loose or even lost teeth
- Sleep disruption
This clenching and grinding of the teeth can be a sign of TMD, or temporomandibular disorder. If you have TMD, you’re not alone. The disorder actually affects around 15 percent of adults nationwide. Some of the consequences of the clenching and grinding aspect of TMD can be seriously expensive and disruptive to your life.
Avoiding hot or cold beverages or foods (piping hot coffee, anyone? How about some ice cream?), losing precious sleep or even time away from your family or friends because of pain are all inconvenient, to say the least. Going home from work because of the pain or having a dentist correct cracked or broken teeth are both a little more problematic.
If you’re experiencing any of these unfavorable side effects of clenching and grinding your teeth, it may be time to think about the possibility that you have TMD. Dr. Amy Hartsfield, DMD, at TMJ and Sleep Solutions of Alabama has a passion for treating any TMD related (and sleep disorder related) problems that you may be encountering.