Maintaining a healthy smile isn’t all about clearing away bacteria and cleaning your teeth and gums, there are also some behavioral problems that can put your dental health at risk. Bruxism is one good example of this type of dental issue. Keep reading to learn more from our Glendale dentists…
What is bruxism?
When we use the term “bruxism” we are referring to habitual, or chronic, dental grinding or jaw clenching. Bruxism refers to the behavior, but this type of action can be caused by a number of different root issues.
Why does bruxism develop?
Some patients experience bruxism only occasionally—especially in times of stress or fatigue. However, it is also possible to deal with chronic bruxism. This occurs largely due to poor bite alignment; because your bite does not come together naturally and comfortably, your lower jaw shifts back and forth, and your teeth rub together. Bruxism can also develop due to TMJ disorder, or damage your temporomandibular joints. These joints attach your lower jaw to your skull.
How can I treat bruxism?
When you met with our dental team, we will perform a thorough assessment, in order to pinpoint the root cause of your dental grinding. Depending on what we find, we may recommend that you move forward by:
- Perfecting your bite alignment with orthodontic treatment
- Wearing a protective oral appliance at night
- Replacing aging restorations with custom-fit crowns
- Incorporating stress-reduction measures into your daily routine
- Building up specific dental surfaces so that your bite comes together evenly
Because bruxism can occur at night, while the patient is asleep, you should stay alert for signs of dental grinding. If you wake up with headaches or a sore jaw, it may be due to bruxism. Your dentist may also report that your dental enamel seems to be wearing down quickly: tooth-on-tooth contact causes enamel to weaken and thin.
Promptly treating bruxism can improve the health of your smile and eliminate dental discomfort. Get started with a personal consultation with our Glendale dentists. We look forward to speaking with you!