Bruxism is a medical condition when people clench and grind their teeth and could cause a series of problems, if done on a regular basis. Normally, people that clench and grind their teeth occasionally don’t face any significant issues with their oral health. However, if teeth grinding is frequent, it could result in serious health complications, among others, set aside the fact that you could end up with damaged teeth.
Why do people grind their teeth?
Many people grind their teeth because they are overly stressed; however, teeth grinding could also be the outcome of crooked or missing teeth, or even any biting issues (see abnormal bite: crossbites, overbites or underbites).
Symptomatology and Harmful Effects of Bruxism
People grind their teeth mainly during their sleep, and most of them do not even know they are doing it, unless someone else informs them of their (unhealthy) habit, as it occurs at night. Some of the symptoms of a person that grinds his or her teeth is a feeling of jaw-soreness, and insisting headaches.
If left unattended, chronic teeth grinding can result in tooth loss, loosening, or fracturing of your teeth. Bruxism that has settled in as a chronic condition may extremely wear your teeth down. What is more, teeth grinding may not only lead to tooth loss and affect your jaws as you would normally think. It can also result in hearing loss and cause TMD/TMJ disorders. A TMD disorder, or also referred as Temporomandibular Disorder, is a medical condition that includes severe pain and great discomfort, and is a direct outcome of teeth grinding (and osteoarthritis). Finally, clenching your teeth can even damage your facial appearance.
It has become obvious that it is extremely crucial to notify your dentist if you have suspicions you might be grinding your teeth, so he or she can make an assessment of your oral condition, examine your jaws and mouth, and identify and signs of bruxism, such as any abnormality in your teeth or any jaw-tenderness.
Is Tooth Damage Due to Bruxism Preventable?
Of course, it is, in both adults and children alike. The usual method used to treat bruxism is a bite splint. A bite splint is a night bite plate, a dental application, that is worn during the night and helps reduce or even completely stop teeth grinding, by relieving the pressure on the jaw and facial muscles.
Also, the feeling of tightness and pain you might feel on your facial muscles can be eased, by applying hot compresses on them.
If chronic teeth grinding has resulted in having cracked or chipped teeth, cosmetic bonding is the ideal option to help treat with this issue. Cosmetic bonding, or dental bonding, is a procedure where a durable resin material in the same color as the teeth is applied, and then hardened with high-intensity curing light, in order to bond the material to the tooth. The result is fascinating and the patient gets back a beautiful, mesmerizing smile! The same effectiveness can be achieved with this method to worn-down and shortened teeth. With the use of some artificial enamel, the teeth are protected from further damage.
Having presented the seriousness of teeth grinding and the health problems closely associated with it, it has become apparent that the earliest you treat it, the sooner you will get over it and save yourself from all unwanted outcomes as highlighted herein. However, pick carefully who you trust your oral health to, so you are ensured of a high-end result.
Get a first assessment and a comprehensive examination at Alkali Dental Studios in Putney and get back what is rightfully yours: your health and smile!