“My Husband Says I Don’t Grind My Teeth”

I’m not sure our society is going in the right direction.  So many people are stressed out these days.  Maybe it’s the economy.  Maybe it’s because the news is always negative.  Who knows?   All I know is that I see so many of my patients that are grinding and clenching their teeth.  And it’s very simple to see.  Are your teeth flat in the back?  Are they flattened or straight across in the front?  That’s not normal.  You’re a grinder.

“But my husband says I don’t grind my teeth.”  I hear this a lot! Ok, why exactly is your husband watching you sleep at night?  Shouldn’t he be sleeping too?  Also, who says grinding makes enough noise that someone else should hear it?  And who says that grinding occurs the moment you fall asleep and continues nonstop until you wake up? I think many people believe grinding is similar to a cow chewing a cud of grass all night long.  It’s not really like that.   It normally happens in short bursts and a spectator can’t even identify that it’s happening.  Some people are noisy grinders (kids especially!), but that’s not a requirement.  Also, people can grind during the day and not even be aware of it.  When I’m concentrating on something really hard, I find that I start to clench and grind my teeth.  See, I’m not normal either!

How do I know you’re grinding?  You’re missing parts of your teeth! They’re flat, like a table top.  Teeth are supposed to have points and ridges.   Unless you’re filing them down with an emory board or a metal file of some sort, where are the teeth going?  And when you grind your teeth, especially teeth with fillings, they break.  This means crowns.  And when you have ground your teeth down to short stubs, there’s really nothing easy that the dentist can do to fix them.  It’s a $40,000 full mouth dental rehabilitation.

Or wear a $400 dollar custom fit night guard and prevent all that in the first place.