Bruxism is another name for teeth grinding. It can be caused by anxiety, an abnormal bite, and even some medications. Teeth grinding often happens when you are sleeping, but people may grind and clench their teeth when they are awake. Here are some ways bruxism can affect your oral health and some treatment options your family dentist may recommend.
Oral Health Effects Of Bruxism
Grinding your teeth can wear out the enamel on your teeth. Over time, your enamel may become thin and weak, leaving you vulnerable to dental decay, tooth sensitivity, and infections. Also, when your enamel wears away, it can expose your dentin and nerve endings, which can cause make your teeth sensitive.
If you grind your teeth too hard you may even crack or break them. In addition, bruxism can also lead to an abnormal bite called a malocclusion. Grinding your teeth can make them loose and cause them to shift out of place. If your teeth do not align properly you may have problems with chewing and develop facial and jaw pain. If you have existing periodontal disease, grinding your teeth may worsen the condition of your periodontal pockets.
Treatments For Bruxism
To help prevent enamel damage from grinding your teeth, your family dentist may recommend dental sealants. They can help protect you against cavities and tooth infections. Dental sealants help prevent bacteria from getting inside your teeth as a result of weakened tooth enamel.
Dental sealants can last for a decade or more, but it is important to note that while dental sealants can help protect your teeth from the effects of bruxism, vigorous teeth grinding may wear down your sealants faster and they may not last as long. Another treatment option for teeth grinding is wearing a mouthguard when you sleep.
You can also wear your oral appliance if you grind your teeth during your waking hours. Further, if you grind your teeth because you suffer from anxiety, your family dentist may refer you back to your primary healthcare provider to help you manage your stress. Dental crowns that fit over your teeth can also help protect your teeth from the effects of bruxism.
If you grind your teeth, make an appointment with your family dental specialist. When teeth grinding is addressed early on, you may be less likely to develop extensive surface damage to your teeth, enamel thinning, broken teeth, and tooth loss. For more information, contact a family dentist near you.