How Teeth Grinding Damages Smiles

teeth grinding damageSometimes, adults develop an oral health issue that causes them to grind and clench their teeth frequently as they sleep. Known as bruxism, this disorder could cause major problems for your oral health and smile beauty. In today’s blog, your Overland Park, KS, dentist will explain how we treat teeth grinding and repair damaged smiles.

The Dangers of Grinding and Clenching

When we grind our teeth on a near-nightly basis, we place the teeth themselves under immense pressure. While the outer enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, over time pressure could wear down this layer or even crack and chip the tooth. The teeth could appear small, with visible damage in some instances, and the damage itself exposes the inner dentin to bacteria. Your smile then becomes vulnerable to serious cavities or infection, increasing the risk of painful symptoms and even tooth loss!

What Causes Bruxism?

Bruxism could be the result of changes that cause bite imbalance, such as misalignment, tooth loss, injury to the face or jaw, or even stress in your daily life. Untreated TMJ disorder could also be a factor, as could a poor-fitting oral appliance or restoration. People with the disorder may report pain in the face or jaw, headaches or migraines, or tooth sensitivity and toothaches that grow more severe with time. If this occurs, please let us know so we can discuss possible solutions!

Changes to Your Daily Habits

Sometimes, limiting your risk and reducing symptoms means cutting back on caffeinated products, enjoying a better sleep routine, and trying to manage your anxiety during the day. You also help by avoiding chewing on objects like pens or pencils, or consuming hard or chewy foods, as the constant chewing motion could exacerbate symptoms in some cases.

The Benefits of an Oral Appliance

We often address the issue with an oral appliance. We start the process by examining your smile and gathering detailed images and impressions. We use these details to design and fabricate an oral appliance that fits comfortably and is worn as you sleep. The device then repositions the jaw to address the causes of bite imbalance, and prevents further damage to your smile by putting a barrier between your upper and lower teeth. If you have any questions about using oral appliance therapy to avoid the complications of bruxism, then contact our team today.

We’re Here to Help You Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Our team wants to help you avoid damage or poor oral health due to a common issue known as bruxism. To learn more about treating issues like teeth grinding or TMD, then schedule your consultation by calling Family First Dental in Overland Park, KS, today at 913-381-2600.