So many of us think about things like cavities and gum disease when we consider oral health issues, and, undoubtedly, these are serious issues. However, there are other, less prominent dental issues that can be just as harmful over time. Keep reading to learn more from our Saint Louis dentists about one of these conditions, bruxism.
To quickly review, bruxism is a condition that is characterized by chronic dental grinding and clenching. This can manifest during the day, during times of stress, or at night while the patient is asleep.
When bruxism is left untreated, you will probably notice that your teeth start to:
- Look shorter, with blunt ends
- Develop cracks and chips
- Shift in alignment; you might be able to feel that your bite changes as well
- Feel more sensitive, as dental enamel thins, and becomes more porous
Additionally, many patients with chronic bruxism find that:
- Their gum tissue starts to recede and pull away from their teeth
- They develop TMJ disorder
- They suffer from headaches, jaw, ear, or neck pain
The best thing to do as a patient is to keep your eyes out for signs of bruxism, so that you can seek prompt treatment for this condition before it becomes severe. Our Saint Louis dental team will perform an assessment on your smile, to help pinpoint the underlying causes of your bruxism.
Once we understand why you’re dealing with bruxism, we can make some treatment recommendations that fit your unique needs. This may involve refining your bite through restorations, dental bonding, orthodontic care. If your bruxism is stress-related, you may benefit from relaxation techniques to minimize jaw tension. Additionally, our team uses customized oral appliances to ease bruxism symptoms, especially at night.