While appearance is one of the first factors thought of when asked about one’s smile, function and health truly are the most important aspects to consider. This does not mean that you should ignore cosmetics entirely, just that health is the ultimate goal. That being said, it is important to note that a myriad of threats can cause a variety of negative impacts on your health, including structurally, functionally, and more. In today’s blog, your Leawood, KS dentist will look at one of the more unconventional methods of dental destruction known as bruxism, and assess how an oral appliance may benefit you.
Unconscious Teeth Grinding
A common misconception is that decay and infection are the only threats to your health. After all, both begin with harmful bacteria, and bacteria are present in every grin. The sad truth of the matter is, however, that these concerns may be the most common, but they only scratch the surface of what truly impacts your grin. In fact, nontraditional factors such as physical injury, level of upkeep, and even unconscious teeth grinding can impact your health in multiple ways.
When a person experienced grinding, what is happening is that they are clenching their teeth together and moving the lower mandible from side-to-side, creating friction between structures. It can occur at any time from a variety of reasons, but more commonly occurs whilst one is asleep. This phenomenon can result in worn down structures, increased chances of developing an infection, and a significant impact on your oral function. For more information about this process, contact our team today.
Risk of Jaw Dysfunction
In addition to the many ways grinding impacts your structure, it can also result in a dangerous jaw dysfunction if proper help is not sought. You see, your lower mandible hinges to your cranium at two primary points known as the temporomandibular joints, or TMJ’s.
When an individual experiences chronic teeth grinding, the lower jaw moves from side-to-side as one clenches their teeth together. Over time, the jaw can become misaligned from the joints, causing a popping or clicking sensation as it attempts to correct the problem. Without proper treatment, you could endure significant damage and inability to properly open the mouth.
Protecting Your Smile
To avoid the damage and threat of TMJ disorder, your dentist may recommend the use of a custom oral appliance to protect your natural structures. Indeed, a mouthguard can provide a protective barrier between teeth so that your grinding does not impact their integrity. What’s more, we can utilize guided splint therapy as needed in order to help guide your jaw back into place when experiencing the effects of TMJ disorder.
Schedule Your Appointment
For more information about this process or to schedule your appointment with our team, contact Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS by calling 913-681-5500 today.