Typically, people are asleep as they experience bruxism, which describes consistently grinding your teeth. Though some people clench their jaw and grind their teeth throughout the day, it can be easy to miss during a stressful moment. The problem with ignoring bruxism is that persistent friction and grinding can damage your teeth, and make your teeth weak and sensitive. Grinding can eventually wear them down until they become seriously compromised. Fortunately, your dentist can detect signs of bruxism during your routine checkups and cleanings before they become obvious to you.
Unlike occasionally clenching your teeth in times of stress, bruxism is the consistent grinding of your teeth, often caused by an imbalance in the alignment of your bite. Misalignment can cause your teeth to be forced together as your jaw muscles and joints shift to find a comfortable position. Bruxism can also be caused by an underlying dysfunction of the jaw, known as TMJ disorder. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint responsible for moving your jaw. If not caused by misalignment, bruxism, when left untreated can lead to TMJ disorder by creating undue wear on your TMJ. Grinding of your teeth can also lead to significant wear and damage to your healthy tooth structure. The constant friction can create fractures in your teeth’s surfaces that increase your risks of damage and decay. Bacteria gets a head start to cause decay by hiding in the tiny fractures on the surface of teeth.
Once detected, bruxism may be treated with a custom-made oral appliance. The oral appliance is designed specifically for your smile. Wearing it while you sleep can help protect your teeth from grinding against each other and can help your jaw rest more comfortably to ease stress on its joints. Treatment can help eliminate the risks and dangers that grinding your teeth can create.
Not treating bruxism can damage your smile’s health. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Carmona at Austin Prosthodontics in Austin, TX, call 512-250-9444. We also proudly welcome patients from Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Leander, and all surrounding Texas communities.