There are many issues we have to face when it comes to taking care of our teeth. From cavities to missing teeth to periodontal disease, our teeth take a lot of abuse over the years. One issue that affects many people is a condition known as Bruxism, also called teeth grinding. It is important to know why teeth grinding is harmful and what can be done to combat it. Bruxism is the technical name for teeth grinding or clenching the jaw. It can happen while sleeping or while awake; consciously or without knowing it; to adults as well as to children. It is more common than many imagine and, thankfully, it is also easy to treat. The primary causes of bruxism are stress and anxiety. At first, a person may be conscious of doing it (if they’re awake), but over time, the physical activity itself becomes a habit. Once the clenching and grinding are automatic, they are hard to stop.
At Loop Perio, we have helped many of our patients discover the best ways to deal with bruxism in their lives. We can do the same for you, and all it takes is one phone call and one appointment to get started.
WHY SHOULD I SEEK TREATMENT FOR BRUXISM?
There are several ways to deal with teeth grinding, but they don’t mean much if you do not understand why teeth grinding is harmful. Here are the biggest concerns your dental team has when it comes to dealing with your teeth grinding:
Gum recession may worsen with teeth grinding as it can damage the teeth and push teeth and gums apart, causing even more trauma. This receding gum line can open the door for infection to set in and can lead to even further damage to your teeth and gums.
Bruxism can cause problems with your bite and teeth alignment as it can eventually shorten teeth by wearing away the enamel . This can cause severe jaw pain, tooth pain, and headaches.
Occlusal trauma is another reason why teeth grinding is harmful and why it needs to be addressed. The abnormal pressure and wear pattern on your teeth can lead to cracks and fractures or loose teeth and can make it necessary to have other treatments done to correct the damage.
Arthritis is another surprising side effect of untreated teeth grinding. In the most severe cases, bruxism is believed to lead to arthritis of the temporomandibular joint. This leads to stiff and painful jaw joints that make even the simplest movements painful.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR TEETH GRINDING
Though there is no known cure for bruxism, there are a variety of devices and services available through our office to help treat teeth grinding:
Mouthguards can help keep the jaw positioned correctly and will also cushion teeth to minimize the impact and wear from teeth grinding that occurs at night.
Stress management also plays a key roll in treating the effects of bruxism since stress is a leading cause of daytime teeth grinding in the vast majority of cases.
Once the grinding is under control, at Loop Perio we can perform a variety of dental procedures to restore the pleasant aesthetic appearance to your smile. These include things such as gum grafts and crown lengthening.