Some of the more common concerns that could impact your oral health are pretty well-known. For example, many people recognize that tooth decay is the cause of cavities and the most common chronic oral health condition. However, some common concerns aren’t as thoroughly understood, even by the people who experience them. Bruxism, or chronic teeth-grinding, is one such condition. If you grind your teeth often enough, you might start to worry if you’re doing them any damage. Or, you may not consider your teeth-grinding habit a problem at all, despite the damage that is occurring.
Why it happens to many people
Not all teeth-grinding can be considered bruxism, which is one reason why there can often be confusion surrounding it. For many people, grinding their teeth together is merely a subconscious reaction to an external stimulus, like physical pain, anxiety, or stress. It might also be a tic in times when you feel nervous. However, if you have bruxism, then the grinding of your teeth is a symptom of something else, and it can occur much more often than you’re aware of. Also, it can result from a number of different underlying causes, making it important to determine the source of your bruxism in order to treat it.
When it’s something to worry about
Because not all teeth-grinding is bruxism, the fact that you notice you do it once in a while may not seem like something to be concerned about. For the most part, it may not be. However, whether it’s caused by bruxism or not, grinding your teeth often enough can eventually cause them to wear down, which can lead to a range of subsequent problems with your tooth structure, your bite function, and the state of your overall oral health. You may notice signs of a problem early, such as your teeth growing more sensitive or slight changes in how your teeth feel when you bite and chew with them.
What options you have for treating it
If your teeth-grinding is consistent enough to cause damage to your teeth, then it’s important to take it seriously enough to stop. If you don’t have bruxism, then training yourself not to grind your teeth may be possible. For example, be conscious of when you feel your jaw muscles clench or your teeth pressed tightly together, and make the effort to stop it from happening again. If you can’t train yourself to stop, then you may require professional treatment from your dentist, such as a custom-designed bruxism appliance that can protect your teeth from any further damage.
Learn more about your teeth-grinding problem
Grinding your teeth may become a problem if you do it often enough, or if you have an underlying oral health concern causing it. To learn more, or to schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles in Gary, IN, today at 219-938-2637.