We are constantly surprised by people who say they don’t grind their teeth even if a dentist has told them they do. At our practice we often hear these claims for why people feel they don’t clench or grind teeth:
- “My partner would hear me!”
This isn’t necessarily true. Tooth grinding doesn’t necessarily make enough noise to wake your partner, and may not occur consistently enough through the night to alert them to a problem. Even just a little bit of grinding throughout the course of the night can be enough to cause a lot of damage to your teeth.
- “I’m a light sleeper.”
So? That doesn’t mean that you would wake yourself up with a habit that may well have persisted since childhood.
- “I keep my mouth open when I’m asleep.”
Probably not all night; and you can’t know for certain what you’re doing while you’re sleeping. Some patients will even go so far as to insist that they concentrate on keeping their mouths open as they sleep. That’s great, but it’s hard to concentrate on anything when you’re asleep.
- “When I wake up, my jaws aren’t sore.”
Depending on the amount of time you’re spending grinding your teeth, your jaws may well not be sore when you wake. However, this is not an accurate gauge of whether or not you’re causing a problem for yourself.
- “But my teeth aren’t bothering me.”
Actually, tooth grinding may or may not cause pain. It can cause a lot of damage before it ever gets to the point where it’s causing noticeable pain.
- “I can’t grind my teeth, because I snore all the time.”
You can snore and grind your teeth at the same time.
If you have been told you’re teeth have been damaged by bruxism or tooth grinding they probably have. Ask us about solutions including having an occlusal splint made