How Teeth Grinding Affects your Smile
Millions of Americans grind or clench their teeth, sometimes unconsciously, due to stress or orthodontic issues. Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding causes various painful symptoms and affects the comfortable function of teeth and jaws joints. It’s important to know the symptoms of bruxism, the potential effects it can have on the dentition, and how to relieve the strain and discomfort.
Individuals grind or clench their teeth due to habit, stress, or unconscious behavior. Bruxism negatively impacts the smile and overall health, leading to damaged teeth, jaw joint tightness or swelling, and headaches. It can also disturb sleeping habits. Teeth grinding while awake can be minimized simply by being more aware of what situations and conditions initiate this behavior.
Unfortunately, this method does not work while asleep. Teeth are most damaged at night, through unconscious actions that cause jaw clenching and teeth grinding, which can fracture tooth structures and dental work. It’s possible to permanently damage teeth this way, requiring extensive dental work to repair function and restore aesthetics. If you have severe dental discomfort and worn-down teeth that need attention, it’s important to see a general dentist.
Regular visits to the dentist help patients stay on top of their oral health. With a thorough exam from your hygienist and doctor, dental issues can be caught and treated. The signs of bruxism are not always apparent to the untrained eye, which is why it’s crucial to see the dentist when experiencing dental problems. When it comes to treating nighttime bruxism, patients can receive necessary restorative work and a custom occlusal guard. This appliance prevents teeth from grinding against one another, and protects the teeth from the additional pressure. If orthodontic issues are deemed the cause, patients may need some type of braces to align the smile properly.
Contact us for Gentle Tooth Grinding Treatment
Dr. Brenda Copeland helps patients avoid the discomfort of bruxism and the costly dental procedures to repair damage. If you are experiencing headaches, sore jaws, or toothaches, these may be symptoms of bruxism. Contact our Longview general dentist for treatment.