Are you taking special care to clean and maintain your smile, but you’re still dealing with unwanted oral health issues? The culprit may be bruxism, or chronic dental grinding. Our Cheney dentists explain…
How Does Bruxism Develop?
There are a number of underlying dental issues that can lead to chronic dental grinding and jaw clenching.
First of all, some of us tend to grind our teeth when we are stressed. If you hold tension in your jaw muscles, you may unconsciously be clenching your teeth together, or moving your lower jaw back and forth, causing your top and bottom teeth to come into contact.
Other causes of bruxism are more structural in nature. Bite problems—overbite, underbite, crossbite—for example, make it so that at least some of our top and bottom teeth hit unnaturally when you chew or smile. Additionally, when you are sleeping, your lower jaw looks for a natural, comfortable position in which to rest. If your teeth are poorly aligned, your lower jaw will move back and forth in search of an acceptable resting position.
What Will Happen To My Smile?
In the short-term you are likely to notice that your jaw feels stiff or sore. Specific teeth that are frequently hitting one another may also become sensitive. People who grind their teeth while they are asleep often wake up with headaches or neck pain.
As bruxism continues on untreated, it will begin to erode the foundation of your smile. Your dental enamel will become thinner from tooth-on-tooth contact. You may notice that your teeth are cracking or chipping more frequently than before. Bruxism can even change your dental alignment over time.
What Should I Do?
Protect your smile by staying alert for the symptoms of bruxism we’ve discussed today. Reach out to your dental team if you think you may be battling bruxism. The treatments our team uses are designed to bring your top and bottom teeth into balance, to relief TMJ pressure, and to protect vulnerable dental enamel.