You take special care to clean your smile effectively every day, you keep up with your professional dental appointments, and you make sound dietary decisions to promote oral health. So why are you still experiencing unwanted dental problems? The answer may be that you are dealing with bruxism. Our Saint Louis dentists have put together this short article with additional information…
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a dental condition characterized by tooth grinding and jaw clenching. Basically, bruxism puts an enormous amount of pressure on your top and bottom teeth, as well as your temporomandibular joints.
How Does Bruxism Manifest?
Because bruxism can happen during the day as well as at night, it can sometimes be difficult for patients to notice it on their own. Of course, if you find yourself clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth during the day, then it is time to call your dentist. However, in order to spot night-time dental grinding, you want to watch out for these commonly experienced symptoms:
- Morning headaches
- Stiff jaw upon waking
- Jaw or tooth pain
- Thinning dental enamel
- Changes to your bite alignment
What Should I Do To Protect My Smile?
One of the most impactful things that you can do is to seek immediate treatment when you notice symptoms of bruxism. The sooner you are able to start addressing the problem, the less severe any long-term oral health issues are likely to be.
When you meet with your dental team, they may recommend any number of solutions based on your specific situation:
- Orthodontic treatment to bring your bite into better alignment
- New dental restorations that improve bite function
- Jaw stretches to improve temporomandibular joint flexibility
- Protective oral appliances to shield your enamel from tooth-on-tooth damage
- TMJ oral appliances that guide your lower jaw into a healthier position
Take the time to safeguard and support your dental structure before serious problems develop. Our Saint Louis dentists are here to help you—please don’t hesitate to give us a call!