In our previous blog, we discussed the benefits of teeth-whitening and enjoying the smile that you are in. While a number of factors are constantly contributing to the degradation of our oral health, sometimes those factors are purely cosmetic in nature. For other circumstances, however, it is important to consider every angle at which a threat or concern can impact your grin, including non-traditional factors such as the effects of chronic teeth-grinding. In today’s blog, your Lake Orion, MI dentist will discuss the way that bruxism affects a grin and how it can lead to a bigger concern if it is not addressed with treatment.
The Dangers of Bruxism
Chronic teeth-grinding – also known as bruxism – occurs when one clenches their top and bottom structures and moves the mandible from side-to-side, creating friction. This phenomenon can occur to anyone of any age, and at any time, though it is most common when one is asleep or unconscious.
Bruxism can be caused by a number of factors, including response to external stressors, internal stress or anxiety, and more. It becomes a problem when it occurs frequently, causing your structures to become worn down and damaged. If it continues, you become at risk of either chipping or breaking your natural teeth, which then subsequently increases your probability of developing some form of infection from harmful bacteria. If you suspect you grind your oral structures, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team immediately to learn your options.
Potential Jaw Dysfunction
The harsh reality is that structural damage is not even the worst that can come from bruxism. Instead, it is a dangerous jaw dysfunction that occurs when the lower mandible becomes misaligned from the two temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s) at which it hinges. This occurrence – known as TMJ disorder – can result in an intense popping or clicking in the jaw as it attempts to correct the problem. What’s more, you become at risk of suffering severe damage if the problem is not addressed.
What Are Your Options?
While TMJ disorder is not to be taken lightly, it and the effects of bruxism can be handled appropriately with proper treatment. For instance, guided splint therapy can help guide your jaw back into place and ensure a healthy recovery. Additionally, a bruxism appliance such as a custom mouthguard may be used to protect the surfaces of your teeth while you sleep. We tailor treatment specifically to each client, meaning that we will work with you to ensure the best plan for optimal healing.
Schedule Your Appointment
Contact Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI by calling 248-693-6213 to learn more about the dangers of bruxism or to schedule your appointment today.