While dental decay is often the biggest threat to your oral health, a myriad of other factors can also play a role. In fact, circumstances that you might not have thought were related to your oral health actually are, including sleep apnea and constant teeth-grinding. Without the help of a professional, however, you may not recognize the warning signs and symptoms until it is too late. In today’s blog, your Lake Orion, MI dentist takes a look at the problems and complications that arise from consistent bruxism, and how an oral appliance could help.
The Dangers of Chronic Grinding
If you have ever awoken with a sore or tense jaw, or the inability to open your mouth properly, chances are, you are grinding your teeth. Bruxism can affect anyone at any age, and is often a result of a few different factors. In fact, grinding has been proven to be a natural response your body has to a blocked air passage. While you slumber, your throat muscles can relax and cause the airway to become restricted. When this happens, your brain sends a signal to briefly rouse you and get you to correct the issue. Grinding your structures causes the muscles to tighten, thus opening the airway and reestablishing proper airflow.
Other factors that might result in bruxism include environmental stressors or even heightened levels of anxiety. If you suspect that this phenomenon is occurring to you, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team today.
Increased Risk of Infection
While you may not perceive bruxism to be a major concern, a number of problems will actually arise. An example of this includes increased chances of infection. When a person experiences bruxism, what is happening is that he or she is clenching their teeth and moving the lower mandible from side-to-side, thus creating friction. As this process occurs, your structures begin to become worn down and weakened. Over time, you may experience more frequent damages such as chips, cracks, and breaks, as well as increased rate of infection due to a lack of strength.
It Leads to Jaw Dysfunction
Arguably one of the worst results that can arise from bruxism includes a dangerous jaw dysfunction known as TMJ disorder. This occurs when the lower mandible becomes out of place from the two joints that it hinges known as your temporomandibular joints (TMJs). As your jaw attempts to correct its alignment, you may feel a popping or clicking sensation. You also experience pain and potential tissue damage the longer the issue is present.
While TMJ disorder should not be taken lightly, it can be avoided with the help of a bruxism appliance. This can include a mouth guard or other solution to help protect your teeth and open the airway so that you can rest peacefully.
Contact Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI by calling 248-693-6213 for more information or to schedule your appointment with our team today.