Don’t Ignore Your Teeth Grinding!

Do you grind your teeth? Occasionally, nearly all of us will grind our teeth, particularly in childhood. However, these episodes are brief. If you grind or clench your teeth nearly every night however, then you may have a serious oral health issue, one that could lead to major complications for your smile’s health and beauty. In today’s blog, your Redmond, OR, dentist talks about how to identify and treat bruxism.

The Dangers of Untreated Bruxism

When we grind and clench our teeth. We place pressure on the tooth structure. Over time, this could wear down the outer enamel, exposing the inner structure and allowing cavities and infections to form. In addition, the pressure could cause teeth to crack or chip, again exposing inner portions to bacteria and leading to more serious complications. Your teeth could begin to ache and feel sensitive, and the discomfort growing worse over time. The pressure the disorder places on your jaw joints could also lead to TMD, a jaw joint issue linked to headaches, migraines, and trouble fully opening and closing the mouth.

What Causes the Problem?

A number of factors could lead to bruxism, such as tooth loss bite imbalance, untreated TMJ disorder, misalignment, injury to the face or jaw, or even high levels of stress in your daily life. Warning signs could include soreness in the jaw and face, headaches and migraines, aches in the neck and shoulders, and tooth sensitivity and toothaches. If you begin to experience one or more of these symptoms, then please see our team right away. We will carefully examine your smile, often using advanced technology, to identify the factors behind your discomfort. We will look for warning signs of strain, stress and friction on the teeth, and other factors.

How Do I Stop?

Treatment also varies. For some patients, orthodontics can help correct misalignment and reduce teeth grinding, placing a custom restoration, such as a crown, could also be beneficial. Cutting back on sugary or caffeinated beverages could be helpful, as is avoiding chewy or hard foods that could exacerbate the issue. However, the most common solution is an oral appliance designed based on impressions we take of your smile, the device looks like a mouthguard and is worn as you rest. The device places a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth to prevent damage, and also repositions the jaw to ease strain. If you have any questions, then please contact our team today.

Do You Have Questions About Teeth Grinding?

If you suffer from teeth grinding or jaw joint strain, then you may need to see our team for treatment. To learn more about our approach to preventive dentistry, schedule a consultation by calling Coppertop Family Dentistry in Redmond, OR, today at 541-923-5927.