Have you noticed that you grind or clench your teeth? This habit, which dentists refer to as bruxism, can be annoying, but it could also harm the structure, function, and appearance of your teeth and jaw.
Your dental professional can help you find an optimal way to stop this behavior and preserve your smile. But you should not procrastinate scheduling a consultation with your dentist. Dr. Heather Adams, a dentist serving patients in Rogers, AR, describes three potential oral health risks that may arise if you do not treat teeth grinding or clenching.
Why You Should Not Ignore Bruxism
When you grind or clench your teeth, you generate pressure as the top row of teeth grates against the bottom teeth. Though teeth are durable, high amounts of pressure like this could cause them to crack, chip, or fracture.
Minor tooth breakage can often be fixed with cosmetic dentistry, but severe damage may require restorative dental solutions like a dental crown. To decrease the financial costs and time in your dentist’s office to complete this dental work, you should ask your dental professional about treatments for stopping chronic bruxism.
Chronic Jaw Pain
The pressure created from constant teeth clenching and grinding can extend to the muscles and bone of the jaw as well. You may recognize soreness and tightness in the jaw, as well as a clicking sound when moving it and difficulty performing oral functions.
These symptoms point to temporomandibular joint disorders, also known as TMJ. This condition will worsen without intervention and treatment from a dental professional.
Your dentist can help you alleviate uncomfortable symptoms by relaxing jaw muscles or cushioning pressure with a custom-made mouthguard. But you can resolve the issue by treating the underlying cause. In many TMJ patients, the causation is grinding or clenching your teeth consistently.
Shift Teeth Out of Alignment
If bruxism continues over a long period of time, the behavior may cause teeth not only to sustain structural damage but to develop alignment issues. Grinding and clenching teeth may lead them to move so that they become crooked, overlap, or have gaps between them.
Even if you and your dentist find a way to stop bruxism, the misalignment will need cosmetic dental treatment to amend, such as invisible braces. Therefore, you should seek treatment for chronic teeth clenching and grinding as soon as possible to preserve your smile.
Ask Your Dentist in Rogers, AR About Bruxism Treatment
Dr. Adams is an expert dentist located in Rogers, AR who offers treatment for bruxism, periodontal issues, and other dental concerns. Our practice also specializes in implant, restorative, general, and cosmetic dentistry, including professional teeth whitening services, for patients of all ages. If you feel nervous about upcoming dental work, ask your dental professional about sedation dentistry options. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office by phone at 479.323.3011 or reach a member of our staff online.