When our dentists talk about “oral health threats” many patients think of external factors, like bacteria. There, however, a number of threats to your oral health that are actually habits you’ve developed, or structural imbalances that are built into your smile. That’s why our Cheney dentists are here to give you more information about a condition called bruxism. Bruxism, if left untreated, can cause significant dental damage over time.
We use the term “bruxism” to refer to chronic dental grinding or clenching. Bruxism can manifest day or night, and, in fact, many people suffer from bruxism but don’t realize it because they are grinding their teeth at night.
Sometimes, people develop bruxism short periods of time only—say, for example, during times of increased stress. However, many patients are dealing with chronic bruxism, and that’s where our dental team can help.
Bruxism can be caused by existing TMJ damage, uneven bite surfaces, and sleep disorders. When you meet with our dental team, we’ll talk to you about your symptoms, and complete an assessment in order to determine the root cause of your bruxism.
Treatment may include:
- adopting stress-reducing measures, especially as you get ready to fall asleep
- wearing a protective mouth guard when you sleep to protect your enamel from tooth-on-tooth contact
- improving your dental alignment, so that your top and bottom teeth come together more naturally
- pursuing treatment for TMJ disorder, to improve the functioning of your temporomandibular joints
As with most oral health issues, it is hugely beneficial to seek treatment for bruxism as soon as you notice problems or changes to your smile. Prompt treatment can help you avoid a range of bruxism-related problems: from cracked teeth to thin enamel. Our Cheney dentists are happy to give you any additional information that you may need—give us a call!