The Dangers Of Grinding Your Teeth
Stress can do a lot of things to your body – you can get headaches, muscle tension, have trouble focusing, and, of a great concern to us at Millburn Dental Arts, grind your teeth. Teeth grinding can be a serious risk for your oral health and happiness and it isn’t just stress that causes it!
Many people who grind their teeth do it in their sleep and don’t even realize it’s a habit. If you ever wake up with sore muscles in your face, jaw tension, sensitive teeth, or a headache you might be grinding your teeth at night and putting yourself at risk for serious problems later on!
Teeth Grinding: Seriously Harmful!
Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding, clenching, and gnashing can cause real damage over time. When you grind your teeth you’re putting yourself at risk for a number of painful conditions.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD, is a malfunction of the jaw joint caused by excess wear, a bad bite, or other kind of damage. Many people who suffer from bruxism end up with TMD because the excess forces they subject their jaw to can cause their teeth to come out of alignment or for the cartilage disc in the joint to slip out of place. TMD causes symptoms like lockjaw, an inability to open the mouth fully, headaches, and facial muscle fatigue. This painful condition is hard to eliminate once it begins!
Tooth Fractures can occur due to bruxism forces, leading to small breaks that cause extreme pain. You may not even be able to see these microfractures but they can lead to toothaches, cavities, and infections due to bacteria being able to slip inside.
Premature Tooth Wear is one of the most common ways that we notice bruxism. If you aren’t experiencing pain and are only grinding your teeth in your sleep you may never know you’re grinding your teeth but worn down enamel can reveal the truth! If you wear down too much of your enamel you can end up having a higher risk for cavities, temperature sensitivity, and a greater risk for tooth loss due to decay and damage.
Bite Changes can result from long-term bruxism as well. Your teeth might be strong but they aren’t meant to handle the kind of forces from constant grinding and clenching. Left untreated the looseness created by bruxism can lead to tooth loss that starts a chain reaction. Each lost tooth can lead to more lost teeth as time goes on!
Despite all the severe outcomes of bruxism it’s surprisingly easy to treat! While we can’t eliminate the underlying psychological mechanisms of bruxism we can control the damage it causes and provide you a comfortable night’s sleep that will leave you rested and pain-free!
Our bruxism and TMD treatments mainly involve the use of nighttime mouthguards that you wear when you sleep. These soft plastic guards are custom designed for your mouth and sit comfortably over your teeth while you sleep.
We’ll take an impression of your teeth that we use to create a soft nightguard that absorbs the forces of your grinding and clenching. It might not seem like much but you’ll be amazed at the results! If you grind your teeth during the day you can also wear your mouthguard then as well. It will be low-profile and comfortable enough not to interfere with your life, only to make it easier and more pain-free!
For severe cases of bruxism and TMD we can also use orthodontic treatment to correct the bite. Many patients who end up with TMD or develop it independently of bruxism have it because of bite problems. By correcting your bite with orthodontic treatment we can eliminate your discomfort and in many cases prevent it from coming back at all!
Don’t Wait To Eliminate Teeth Grinding!
The longer you wait to address bruxism or TMD the worse it can get. Before you know it you may find yourself with lost teeth, serious pain, or fractures that require expensive treatments to repair! At Millburn Dental Arts we can eliminate your need for these treatments by proactively addressing your bruxism before it does serious damage!