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ASK YOUR DENTIST 3. - Teeth Grindin

“ I take care of my teeth very well, and I do not smoke or drink alcohol. I brush twice a day, floss once, and use mouthwash every time. I am noticing that there are cracks running up and down the enamel of my teeth. They do not hurt, and I am not experiencing problems, but I am noticing small lines running around the outside of my enamel. What is causing this? Is it cold or hot foods? I laos notice that my jaw is in pain more and more often. Am I lacking some vitamin?”

This is a very interesting case. Tooth enamel is incredibly hard, and foods or temperatures should not make it crack or flake at all. If you eat hot food then chew ice on a regular basis, then perhaps you may see some cracks from on the outside of some of your teeth. But to have more and more of them appear, we can rule out a mineral deficiency, and we can rule out diet or temperature related problems as well.


No, what is happening to you is a far simpler problem, one that affects a large number of people on a daily basis. Your most likely problem is that you grind your teeth at night, in your sleep, and this condition is known as bruxism. The way it works is when you sleep, you clench your teeth together, and grind them. This causes tiny hairline fractures in your enamel, and also causes the jaw pain you are experiencing. It is from your jaw being clenched all night. Your teeth are not sensitive because they are healthy, even if a little bit worn down. They will become hurt over time, though, and you will experience pain and most likely damage to your inner tooth structures as well. When this occurs you will experience pain, and you may have some sleep related issues as well. You may also notice that over time your teeth will become smaller and smaller as more and more of it is ground away.

The solution is to wear a tooth guard at night. At first it will be strange to do so, but it is the only solution right now. You can also go to a sleep clinic and see if they cannot give you night time muscle relaxants, but there is no way to tell if these work without you being monitored in your sleep first, and many people are just not okay with having that happen. So the only real solution to this problem would be to have a tooth guard in place while you sleep. This way, you will also be able to see the extent of the damage that you cause yourself, because more and more bite marks will start to appear on the tooth guard.

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