Too much of anything is bad. Yet, when it comes to grinding your teeth, you may not realize that you’re doing it too much until you start to notice other symptoms, like aching and damaged teeth. Grinding your teeth too much is the defining characteristic of bruxism. Unfortunately, it most often occurs while patients are sleeping, making it even less likely for you to detect it on your own. The good news is that your dentist can help you determine if you grind your teeth too much, and help you avoid extensive tooth damage, if you stick to a schedule of regular preventive dental exams.
Harmless Habit, or Bruxism?
The tricky thing about bruxism is that everyone grinds their teeth once in a while. Some may do so more often than others, but still only out of habit or nervousness. It only becomes bruxism when it’s a symptom of an underlying condition, causing you to grind your teeth together unconsciously and persistently. For instance, if your jaw muscles are overactive because of an imbalanced bite, or if you grind your teeth together as a symptom of TMJ disorder, then your dentist may be able to help you stop with bruxism treatment.
How Your Dentist Can Help
Treating bruxism requires a careful examination to determine why you grind your teeth, a way to protect your teeth from grinding together, and in some cases, one or more restorations to repair damaged teeth. For many patients, a custom-designed oral appliance can be worn at night to prevent unconscious, nighttime grinding. The guard may also help your jaw rest more comfortably, alleviating stress and pressure on your jaw joints that could exacerbate your symptoms.
Find Out if You Grind Your Teeth Too Much
If you grind your teeth too much, then the damage that it causes could have a significant impact on the rest of your oral health. To schedule an appointment with your dentist, contact Healthy Smiles in Gary, IN, by calling 219-938-2637, or by emailing our office at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also proudly serve the residents of Gary, Miller, Miller Beach, and all surrounding communities.