You may not realize it as you occasionally grind your teeth together, but the habit of doing so could be a potentially serious dental issue. Most people clench their jaws and grit their teeth when under extreme pressure or physical strain, or when experiencing a strong negative emotion, like anger. However, many people chronically grind their teeth out of habit, a condition known as bruxism. If you’re one of them, then you’re likely endangering the integrity of your teeth. The first step to stopping bruxism is to find out why you grind your teeth in the first place. Then, your dentist can treat the underlying condition to restore your smile’s harmony.
Frequent Causes Behind Bruxism
Bruxers (patients who exhibit bruxism) grind their teeth for a variety of reasons. Some may experience an incredible amount of daily stress that translates into bruxism when they sleep at night. Others may suffer from a dental condition, such as TMJ disorder, that exhausts your jaw’s joints and muscles and causes them to spasm. After a thorough examination, your dentist can help you determine the source of your bruxism and prescribe an appropriate treatment to help you stop grinding your teeth.
The Consequences of Bruxism
Bruxism threatens your oral health in a number of ways. The undue stress and friction can wear your teeth down, changing their shape and throwing your bite off-balance. The damage can also weaken your teeth and make them more susceptible to cracks, fractures, and breaks. Worst-case scenarios may include tooth loss from excessive damage and severe TMJ disorder as your jaw’s joints grow more exhausted.
How Your Dentist Can Help You Stop
Treating your bruxism depends on the cause of it. If your bite is uncomfortable because your teeth are crooked, then straightening them with orthodontic treatment may relieve the symptom. In some cases, one or more missing teeth may contribute to bruxism, and replacing them could be the only way to stop it. In many cases, your dentist can recommend a custom-designed nightguard to wear while you sleep that will protect your teeth from grinding against each other.
Learn How to Treat Bruxism
If you grind your teeth too often, then visit your dentist as soon as possible for appropriate bruxism treatment. To schedule a consultation, call Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, today at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of West Forest Lake, Kennedy, Lake Bluff, Skokie, Junction, and all surrounding communities.