Why Do We Grind Our Teeth?

Bruxism, in which a person routinely grinds or clenches his or her teeth, could lead to serious trouble for our smile’s health. Over time, the pressure has been known to wear down or damage teeth. Fortunately, we have treatment options designed to prevent damage and even stop the onset of teeth grinding. In today’s blog, let’s look at why we grind our teeth and how to stop!

What Causes Bruxism?

The factors behind bruxism vary, but often include high levels of stress in daily life. Other causes include tooth loss, misalignment, bite imbalance, or injury to the face or jaw. Untreated TMJ disorder, a jaw joint disorder caused by stress on the temporomandibular joints, could also lead to chronic teeth grinding. Without treatment, the pressure on the teeth could begin to wear down enamel, or even cause a tooth to become cracked or chipped. The damaged enamel and structure could mean harmful bacteria gains access to the sensitive and porous layers of dentin, leading to cavities forming and eventually, dental infection. Treating the issue can preserve your smile and prevent oral health complications!

When Should I See the Dentist?

If your significant other informs you that you grind your teeth frequently, you should schedule an appointment. Symptoms that have occurred in the waking hours include persistent headaches, jaw pain, toothaches and tooth sensitivity, popping or clicking in the jaw, or visibly worn or damaged teeth. Don’t ignore these potential warning signs, please contact our team for a diagnosis. We will look at your smile for signs of wear and friction, and help identify the cause and severity of your teeth grinding.

Treatment Options and Lifestyle Changes

Treatment options will vary, and could include orthodontics to correct misalignment or possibly the creation and placement of a dental crown to restore bite balance. However, the most common option is usually an oral appliance. The device will fit much like a mouthguard, and is custom-made based on detailed measurements and impressions taken of your smile. When worn at night, the device helps reduce strain on the jaw and also places a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth, which helps prevent further damage to the smile during the treatment process. If you grind your teeth or experience the symptoms we’ve discussed, please contact our team today for a diagnosis. We want to protect your smile from injury and poor oral health.

Do You Grind Your Teeth?

Don’t let bruxism wreck the health and beauty of your smile. To schedule an appointment with your dentist, contact Healthy Smiles in Gary, IN, by calling 219-938-2637, or by emailing our office at info@healthysmilesnwi.com. We also proudly serve the residents of Gary, Miller, Miller Beach, and all surrounding communities.