A woman with a towel on her head holds a whitening mouth guard for teeth. The girl aligns her teeth with the help of transparent night removable retainers. Orthodontic device for a perfect smileTaking care of your smile is a process that is much more involved than you might have initially expected. While you may believe that brushing your teeth is all that is necessary for maintaining excellent overall oral health, the truth of the matter is that various oral components can negatively influence your smile, and your grin requires a bit of extra help to fend them off. In today’s blog, your Leawood, KS dentist explores the major causes of chronic bruxism issues, and how teeth grinding can cause a number of complications to arise.

What Is Bruxism?

Before taking a closer look at the causes of bruxism, it is important to first recognize what it is and if you are affected. Indeed, bruxism is characterized by chronic teeth grinding and often occurs when a person is sleeping and unconscious. As such, it may be a bit difficult to identify if you are experiencing the phenomenon, but our team can provide a few telltale signs and symptoms that you should be keeping an eye out for that can indicate there may be an issue.

When a person grinds their teeth, what is happening is that the structures are being tightly clenched together while the lower jaw moves from side to side. This process generates friction between the structures, causing them to become stressed. Not only this, but consistent clenching can damage your teeth by causing protective layers of enamel to erode and weaken your teeth.

In addition to weaker teeth, chronic bruxism can lead to a number of other complications down the line as well. These include increased chances of enduring an infection, a greater chance of experiencing cracking and breaking, and of course, the development of a dangerous jaw dysfunction known as TMJ disorder. Give our team a call to learn more about this process today.

Heightened Levels of Stress

Understanding potential causes of teeth grinding is essential to its treatment. Take, for example, heightened levels of stress and anticipation. The average individual is no stranger to stress or stressful situations, and many times these experiences can have an impact on the body.

Indeed, higher levels of stress than normal can cause a person to unconsciously clench their teeth together. In other words, it does not hurt to get a second opinion about potential bruxism concerns, especially if you are prone to heightened levels of stress.

Difficulty Breathing

Another important cause of teeth grinding concerns can be due to difficulty receiving enough oxygen while you slumber. In a process known as obstructive sleep apnea, the throat muscles can become relaxed, thus restricting your airway. In a natural defense, you may grind your teeth to help the throat muscles tense, thus opening the airway.

Learn More Today

Contact Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS by calling 913-681-5500 to learn more about the influence bruxism has on your oral health, and schedule your next wellness visit today.