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Grinding Your Teeth Should Not Be Ignored

Posted by writeradmin

Can you help me figure something out? Some quick background: I’ve been a tooth grinder for some time. I’ve never had a cavity. Recently, I’ve been having a toothache at my lower back teeth. It is hard to describe and feels more like someone is pulling on my teeth for a moment and then letting go. My dentist insists everything is fine, but I am worried. Could it be from the grinding and I just need to stop worrying? My dentist is not worried.


Dear Beverly,

An image of a man holding his jaw in need of an emergency dentist.

I have some concern about how your dentist is dealing with this. If you have a grinding problem then everything is not fine. This can deteriorate your teeth down to nubs on top of giving you TMJ Disorder. If your teeth are ground down enough, then they will become tiny nubs and you will need a full-mouth reconstruction. These can cost upwards of $30,000. However, if you wear a simple nightguard, you can be protected from any further damage.

It sounds to me like you are with a bread and butter dentist who just looks for cavities. The best dentists are not just interested in cavities and fillings. They also check on things like occlusion, gum disease, and TMJ issues. These are all important issues. Gum disease, left untreated, can cause you to lose your teeth. Occlusion and TMJ Disorder can leave you with a lifetime of jaw pain and migraines.

While I have not examined you and wish I could see some x-rays, it does not sound to me like you are dealing with decay. It is more likely either pain from your teeth grinding or some gum disease. Either one of these needs to be dealt with. Your dentist’s assessment, that “everything is fine” is not accurate.

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