For a number of individuals, decay or similar concerns are often the biggest threat to one’s oral health. For a number of others, however, the biggest threat comes from incessant teeth grinding in a process known as bruxism. While problems that arise from oral bacteria are oftentimes more prevalent, bruxism can become just the beginning of an even bigger concern. In today’s blog, your North Hollywood, CA dentist will look at the negative effects of bruxism and how it can lead to bigger concerns such as TMJ disorder.
The Dangers of Bruxism
Bruxism is the official name given to chronic teeth grinding. It can occur at any time and affect anyone, but more often than not occurs at night while you are sleeping. Indeed, there are many contributors to the phenomenon, including environmental stressors, internal stress or anxiety, and more. While it may not seem like such a major concern, on the contrary, this is only the beginning. In fact, the more often you grind your teeth, the more likely you are to develop serious complications down the line.
When you grind your teeth, what is occurring is that they are clenching and rubbing together from side-to-side. This process not only leads way to the subsequent weakening and wearing down of your oral surfaces, but opens a path for bacteria to wreak havoc and cause infection. If you suspect that you are experiencing chronic bruxism, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team today.
Contributing to Jaw Dysfunction
In addition to possible infection, teeth grinding will also cause functional concerns as well. For instance, you may awaken with immense tension and the inability to properly open your mouth to speak or eat. What’s more, you could eventually develop dysfunction in your jaw known as TMJ disorder. You see, your lower mandible hinges upon your two temporomandibular joints, and consistent grinding can cause it to become misaligned.
When you experience TMJ disorder, you can expect to hear and feel a sensation of clicking or popping as your jaw attempts to work its way back into alignment. The problem arises, however, in that you could incur significant damage to the jaw.
Treatments That Can Help
To treat concerns such as bruxism and TMJ disorder, your dentist may recommend the use of a custom dental appliance such as a mouthguard to protect your structures while you sleep. What’s more, we can utilize splint therapy to carefully guide your jaw back into place and promote adequate healing.
Schedule Your Appointment
Your smile is one of your greatest assets, and ensuring its health is our top priority. Contact Modern Smiles in North Hollywood, CA by calling 818-763-9353 to learn more about your options for treating chronic grinding and TMJ disorder.