If you catch yourself grinding your teeth more often than usual, then the thought of bruxism might cross your mind eventually. As a chronic dental condition, bruxism is the consistent grinding of your teeth that result from a wide range of potential factors. If your grinding habit does mean that you have bruxism, then we can help you address it and protect your smile with an appropriate, customized treatment plan. The sooner you address your teeth-grinding, the less of an impact it will be able to have on your oral health.
The fact that you grind your teeth doesn’t necessarily mean that you have bruxism. Many of us do it as a nervous habit or tic, and increased frequency may just mean that you’re under a higher than usual amount of stress. Bruxism means that you grind your teeth subconsciously throughout the day and/or night, and the cause of it may be more significant than increased stress. For instance, it might be the result of crooked teeth that throw your bite off balance, or a jaw dysfunction (TMJ disorder) that impacts your bite’s ability to function properly.
After a while, constantly grinding your teeth becomes uncomfortable. Your teeth become sensitive to the most minor irritations, like hot and cold foods, and your jaw muscles grow increasingly more exhausted. Also, the constant pressure and friction of grinding your together can cause significant damage to your teeth’s structures themselves. Even when healthy, your teeth aren’t resilient enough withstand grinding against each other without sustaining wear and damage. The longer you wait to treat your bruxism, the more significant your tooth damage will become.
Another major difference between occasional teeth-grinding and having bruxism is that you can’t stop bruxism on your own. That’s because its underlying cause will require more than a just a strong will to correct it. For example, treating bruxism may include correcting your bite’s balance and/or addressing the dysfunction in your jaw joints. Or, it may simply require wearing a protective, custom-designed guard while you sleep to prevent your teeth from grinding against each other every night.
Grinding your teeth a lot is the characteristic sign of bruxism, and ignoring it could spell significant trouble for your teeth and oral health. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Yelena Popkova D.D.S. in Merrimack, NH, today at 603-595-9400. We also serve the residents of Nashua, Hudson, Manchester, Milford, and all surrounding communities.