You probably already know that certain substances, like sugary foods and drinks, can damage your smile over time. However, did you know that there are also very common habits that can be equally harmful for your oral health? Today our Cheney dentists are giving you some more information about one of these habits in particular: bruxism. Let’s get started!
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is a term that we use to refer to chronic dental grinding and clenching. Sometimes, people exhibit bruxism during times of stress and anxiety. Other people grind and clench when they are sleeping. The specifics of bruxism are as individual as the patients who deal with it, so a key to treating bruxism is to identify the underlying cause of it.
Why worry about bruxism?
Chronic dental grinding can damage your smile in a number of ways. You may find that your dental enamel is wearing down prematurely, and thus your teeth are more susceptible to developing cavities as well as cracks and chips. Bruxism can also cause TMJ problems, as your jaw joints are stressed and strained. Some bruxism sufferers also deal with chronic headaches and neck/jaw/ear pain.
How to treat bruxism?
As we briefly discussed before, it’s crucial to identify the underlying cause of your bruxism before we start treatment. If your bruxism is stress-related, for example, our team may recommend that you adopt some stress-reduction measures. Your dentist may alternatively recommend that you undergo treatment to improve your bite alignment, or suggest that you wear a custom-crafted mouth guard while you sleep. Some people achieve relief using just one of these solutions, while other combine treatments for maximum efficacy.
The key to dealing with bruxism is to seek treatment as soon as you notice symptoms of dental grinding. You simply do not want to allow bruxism to persist untreated for a long period of time. As always, our Cheney dentists are happy to give you any additional information and support that you may need—just give us a call to get started!