dental occlusion molars teeth close upMaintaining a healthy, full, and complete smile is a goal that most all of us should have. After all, your oral structures are much more than just something to look at, and they serve an essential role when it comes to completing a host of routine tasks. Though they might be some of the strongest bones in the human body, your teeth are not indestructible, and as such, should be cared for in every possible way. In today’s blog, your Leawood, KS dentist takes a look at the damaging effects of untreated teeth grinding, and how chronic bruxism can lead to even bigger concerns down the line.

Understanding How it Affects You

Have you ever awoken from a restful night of sleep to your jaw feeling tense or sore? If you answered yes to this question, then the chances are high that you have experienced some form of teeth grinding. Indeed, teeth grinding is a phenomenon that occurs when a person tightly clenches the top and bottom set of teeth together and moves the lower jaw from side to side.

More often than not, this issue occurs when a person is unconscious, such as when he or she sleeps. As you can imagine, tightly clenching your teeth together can create friction, which gradually wears down or erodes the top of your teeth. Moreover, the longer you wait to seek treatment, the worse off you will be.

In addition to wearing down the surfaces of your teeth, untreated teeth grinding can contribute to a higher possibility of developing a dental infection, as well as experiencing cracking or chipping due to more brittle or weakened structures. To learn more about this process and how our team can help, give us a call today.

How It Can Get Worse

When a person experiences teeth grinding for a period of time, this phenomenon is known as chronic teeth grinding or bruxism. As if bruxism were not enough, the constant wearing down of the teeth and unnatural jaw movement can contribute to the development of an even bigger concern known as TMJ disorder.

TMJ disorder occurs when the lower jaw or mandible becomes misaligned with one or both of the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) at which it hinges to the cranium. As a result, a person may notice a popping or clicking sensation in the jaw, accompanied by major discomfort and/ or pain. Contact our team to learn more.

Solutions to Meet Your Needs

Chronic teeth grinding and TMJ disorder are no joke, and the earlier you seek treatment for these issues, the better. A custom oral appliance can be used to help protect your teeth while also addressing your TMJ concern, and guided splint therapy can help carefully guide your jaw back into place appropriately.

Learn More Today

Contact Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS by calling 913-681-5500 to schedule your next appointment with our team and learn more about the different ways our team can help address your bruxism or TMJ needs.