Bruxism is one of the lesser known, but still very common, threats to your smile. Keep reading to learn more about what bruxism is, and how it can negatively affect your oral health.
And remember, our Saint Louis dentists offer effective treatments for bruxism, so that you can protect your smile from long-term damage.
Bruxism is a condition that is characterized by chronic dental grinding and clenching. You may find that you are clenching your teeth during the day, especially during times of stress. Alternatively, many people grind their teeth when they are asleep at night. Nighttime bruxism sufferers often discover that they are grinding their teeth because their sleeping partners hear them grinding, or because they start waking up with sore or painful jaws.
Bruxism is not only inconvenient; it can also cause very serious health problems:
· Chronic dental grinding weakens dental enamel. Without treatment, you are likely to suffer from dental cracks or chips.
· Weakened enamel is also more susceptible to dental decay. If your enamel develops micro-cracks, these weak spots can become hotbeds of bacteria accumulation.
· Bruxism also puts an unhealthy amount of pressure on your temporomandibular joint. The TMJ is the joint that connects your skull to your lower jaw. When you grind and clench your teeth you strain this joint. Bruxism sufferers are prone to developing TMJ dysfunction: jaw pain/stiffness, popping sensation in the jaw, limited jaw mobility.
There are a number of ways to address bruxism. Our team may recommend that you wear a protective mouth guard at night. We may also suggest that you refine your bite—either using bonding or orthodontics—so that your bite comes together in a comfortable way (poorly aligned bite is a common cause of bruxism).
Call our Saint Louis dentists to get more information and to schedule your personal consultation with our team!