Some things are obviously dangerous to your teeth, like excessive amounts of sugar and plaque buildup. However, some things aren’t as obvious, but can still be an enormous threat to your oral health if they’re allowed to remain unaddressed. For example, chronic teeth-grinding, also referred to as bruxism, is a significant concern for many patients of all ages. The constant friction and pressure the condition exposes your teeth to can lead to a wide range of oral health problems, unless you work with your dentist to address it as soon as possible.
What defines bruxism?
While most people grind their teeth once in a while, those who have bruxism do so multiple times throughout the day, every day, without always realizing it. There are many potential factors that could contribute to bruxism, though for many patients, it can occur most often at night while they sleep. Because the grinding of your teeth is often subconscious, you may not always realize that you have bruxism right away. Fortunately, visiting your dentist routinely for checkup and cleaning appointments will give your dentist the chance to spot the signs early and treat your condition before it becomes more severe.
What it can do to your oral health
When left unchecked, the intense grinding and clenching of your teeth can cause a wide range of concerns with your tooth structure and oral health. For instance, many patients who experience bruxism may also experience one or more of the following as a result:
- Tooth sensitivity and pain – Grinding your teeth together can cause them to grow increasingly more sensitive over time. The aching will grow more intense the more you grind your tooth structures down.
- Changes in your bite – When you grind down the chewing surfaces of your teeth, the way your bite feels when you bite and chew will change. This can also put strain on your jaw joints (TMJs).
- Tooth damage and decay – The more you grind your teeth, the weaker they become both structurally and in their defense against oral bacteria. This raises your risks of experiencing severe tooth decay and/or decay (infection).
Learn how to stop grinding your teeth
Teeth-grinding, or bruxism, can be a huge problem for your oral health if left untreated long enough. To learn more, schedule an appointment with us by calling Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS, today at 913-681-5500. We also serve patients who live in Overland Park and all surrounding communities.