Bruxism refers to the chronic grinding and clenching of the teeth, a habit that occurs mainly at night and for many, could lead to broken teeth and aching jaws. In today’s blog, your Garland, TX, dentist is going to outline the dangers of ignoring bruxism, and what the long-term impacts could be. We’re also going to look at common (and non-invasive) treatment options.
What Does Teeth Grinding Do To Our Smiles?
When we grind and clench our teeth on a regular basis, this begins to wear down outer structure. Teeth could look small, and the impact on the enamel could mean exposed inner tissue and an increased risk of tooth decay and dental infection. The teeth could also become cracked and chipped, again leading to painful cavities and infections. Warning signs of bruxism could include soreness in the face or jaw, toothaches and tooth sensitivity, headaches and migraines, and pain in the neck or shoulders. The issue could also lead to TMJ disorder, which may mean a popping or clicking sensation in the jaw.
The Common Factors Behind Bruxism
A number of factors could cause someone to develop bruxism, including tooth loss, dental misalignment, injury to the face or jaw, high levels of stress in your daily life, untreated TMJ disorder, and bite imbalance. If you have a smile with any of these issues, or if you experience the warning signs we discussed in the section above, then please contact our team. The sooner we address the issue, the less likely you will be to suffer from major complications and increasingly painful symptoms.
We could address misalignment with clear aligners and other orthodontics, or restore bite balance with a crown, but in most cases, we prescribe an oral appliance. Custom-made based on detailed impressions and images we take of your smile, the device will fit much like a mouthguard and will be worn as you sleep. The device repositions the jaw to ease pressure, and also prevent further damage by placing a strong barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth.
Positive Lifestyle Changes
We may also suggest you avoid hard or chewy foods, as this could exacerbate the issue, and avoid chewing on objects like ice, pens, or pencils. Try to cut back on caffeinated beverages too, and know that a warm washcloth against the side of the face could help ease tension in the jaw and face.
Don’t Ignore Your Teeth Grinding Symptoms
When you grind your teeth, you risk damaging your smile. To learn more about our approach to preventive dentistry, then schedule a consultation by calling Mai Dentistry in Garland, TX, today at 972-530-0552. For our patients who don’t speak English, our office is fluent in both Spanish and Vietnamese.