Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding, may seem like a harmless issue, but it can seriously affect your overall oral health. While many people grind their teeth due to stress, there can be many other causes as well. Whatever the root cause, tooth grinding can cause damage to your teeth and be detrimental to your bite and dental health.
Grinding your teeth can lead to a number of serious dental problems that will eventually require further treatment, especially if it occurs frequently over a long period of time. The pressure and back-and-forth action of teeth grinding can cause teeth to loosen, fall out, or break. In severe cases, teeth grinding can cause teeth be become so worn down, there is nothing left! In addition to general pain and discomfort in the face and mouth, prolonged bruxism can lead to TMJ (which can make it difficult to open and close your mouth), changes in jaw structure, and even hearing loss.
See your dentist as soon as possible if you know or suspect that you are grinding your teeth during the day or in your sleep. They can identify and treat any underlying issues that may be causing your bruxism, such as crooked teeth or bite issues. They may also recommend you wear a night guard while you sleep in order to prevent further damage to your teeth, or they may prescribe muscle relaxers in some cases. Usually, your dentist can help you reduce how often you grind your teeth, or help you to stop completely in a very short time period.
Once you’ve received treatment from your dentist for any underlying issues that may have caused your bruxism, there are a number of things you can do on your own to prevent further instances. Stress relief techniques such as ensuring you are getting enough exercise, or participating in a calming activity such as yoga or meditation can be important. Additionally, you should reduce your intake of caffeinated beverages and sugary foods and avoid chewing gum. If you notice yourself clenching your teeth and jaw, apply a lukewarm washcloth and consciously relax your jaw in order to release the tension in the muscles.
If you are suffering from bruxism, or suspect that you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep, call Buckner Family Dental at 214-328-3595 for a consultation appointment today. Our well-trained, professional staff is readily able to identify the symptoms and causes of bruxism. We will be able to recommend a treatment plan that can correct any underlying issues and help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with grinding your teeth. Our Dallas dentist Jaime Osorio DDS can give you more information about bruxism.