For many people, waking up with an aching or sore jaw is not typically indicative of an oral health concern. Oftentimes individuals believe that perhaps they slept wrong, or maybe they bit down a bit too aggressively on a food item, or something of the like. For many, however, it can be indicative of grinding their teeth at night. While a minor instance of this is nothing to fret over, chronic grinding can cause a number of concerns that will only get worse if you do not seek assistance. In today’s blog, your Lake Orion, MI dentist will address what can occur when you constantly grind teeth and what to do if this problem affects you.
Worn Surfaces Invite Infection
When you experience bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, what is occurring is that you are unconsciously rubbing the surfaces of your oral structures together from side-to-side. When this happens, you are wearing down the surface of each tooth, which contain the layer of protection over your smile. When this area becomes extremely worn, it can cause weakened bone and even decay to occur due to harmful oral bacteria. What’s more, you may experience pain and tooth sensitivity due to the tension created between surfaces. For more information about this process, contact our team today.
Potential for Jaw Dysfunction
One of the biggest concerns that arises from bruxism is the development of a mandibular disorder known as TMJ disorder. The two joints at which your lower jaw hinges are known as temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s) When you experience frequent bruxism, the tension generated from this process can cause misalignment to occur in one or both of your TMJ’s, causing difficulties biting, chewing, speaking, and a noticeable popping or clicking sound as your lower mandible attempts to correct the situation. What’s more, leaving this concern untreated will result in significant tearing or damage to these joints that will not get better without treatment, potentially requiring the need for surgery to correct. If you suspect you may be experiencing TMJ disorder or chronic grinding throughout the night, do not hesitate to contact your dentist immediately and schedule a visit.
Appliances that can Help
While grinding can cause significant concern, it can fortunately be treated if acted on in a timely fashion. Our team has the capability to create custom appliances that help prevent bruxism, allowing your jaw and teeth to rest at ease. What’s more, we may also help correct your bite dysfunction with sling therapy or other methods if you are experiencing TMJ due to bruxism. Contact our team today to learn more.
Minor bruxism may not seem worth attending a dental visit for, however, it can progress to a dangerous state if left unchecked. Contact Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI by calling 248-693-6213 to schedule your visit with our team today.