By now you are probably aware that dentistry in and of itself spans a large area. It includes cosmetic or surface-level concerns, treatment to restore function and appearance, and even best practices to keep a smile happy and healthy. With a large area to cover, however, that also means there is an even larger array of complications and threats. What’s more, these extend past traditional issues such as decay and can include nontraditional aspects like sleeping disorders and dangerous jaw dysfunction. In today’s blog, your Overland Park, KS dentist takes a look at the phenomenon known as teeth-grinding, and how incessant bruxism can lead to even bigger concerns down the line.
Weakened Teeth and Increased Infection
Most individuals are aware of or have experienced teeth-grinding at least once in their lives, but chronic bruxism is actually a major concern. Indeed, this phenomenon consists of tightly clenching the teeth and moving the lower mandible from side to side. While it can occur at any given time, it most often happens when an individual is asleep.
Waking up with a sore jaw is not the only consequence that occurs due to teeth-grinding. In fact, it can lead to wearing down and weakening your natural strength. As this happens, you experience an increased chance of developing some form of infection, as well as increased chances of brittleness, cracks, chips, and overall breakage. If you suspect you are grinding your teeth frequently, it is best to reach out to our team and learn your treatment options today.
Possibly Indicative of Other Concerns
There are a few factors that might influence your chances of bruxism. For instance, heightened levels of anxiety can cause an individual to unconsciously clench their teeth. Environmental stressors are also related to clenching and can lead to habit formation.
Another major concern that can cause grinding is obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when the throat muscles relax and restrict one’s airflow. As a natural response for survival, your body may respond by clenching and grinding in order to tighten the throat muscles back up and encourage proper airflow. Reach out to our team to learn more.
Complications that Arise from Lack of Treatment
While you may think your bruxism is under control, it is only a matter of time before it causes a dangerous jaw dysfunction known as TMJ disorder. Your lower mandible will become misaligned from one or both of the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) from which it hinges to your cranium, causing complications in function. You could experience an incessant popping or clicking sensation, difficulty opening your mouth or eating, and damaged tissues.
Learn More Today
Contact Family First Dental in Overland Park, KS by calling 913-381-2600 to learn how our team can help manage your TMJ disorder with guided splint therapy, or schedule your next appointment with our team.