Dental Care for Kids: Finding the Right Dentist

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Teeth Grinding And Its Effects On Your Oral Health

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Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding, affects a large percentage of the population. Unfortunately, it is a routine mistake for individuals to underestimate the potential effects of these conditions due to being uninformed about them.

How Does Bruxism Affect Oral Health?

Bruxism can have detrimental effects on teeth and gums. The constant grinding and clenching exert excessive force on the teeth, leading to enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity, and even fractures in severe cases. Furthermore, repetitive motion can cause gum recession, increasing tooth sensitivity and vulnerability to gum disease.

TMJ issues and teeth grinding have a strong correlation. Joint discomfort and inflammation can develop from the constant, repetitive stress of bruxism on the jaw joints.

Long-term damage to teeth and gums can result from bruxism if it is not treated. Chronic teeth grinding may result in worn-down tooth surfaces that require extensive dental interventions such as dental crowns or orthodontic treatment. Additionally, persistent bruxing forces may contribute to changes in bite alignment over time.

Can Stress And Anxiety Trigger Bruxism?

Stress and anxiety are often linked to an increase in teeth grinding episodes. Emotional factors play a significant role in triggering bruxism as individuals tend to clench their jaws unconsciously during periods of heightened stress or anxiety.

Treatment options are available when stress and anxiety are triggers for bruxism. Dentists may recommend relaxation exercises or refer patients to mental health professionals for cognitive-behavioral therapies for habit reversal.

What Are The Effects Of Bruxism On Dental Restorations?

Bruxism can exert excessive forces on dental restorations like fillings and crowns. Prolonged grinding may lead to cracks or loosening of these restorations, compromising their integrity. Regular dental examinations are crucial to detect any damage caused by bruxing habits.

Porcelain veneers, though durable, may be susceptible to damage from teeth grinding. Patients with veneers should consult their dentists regarding proper care and potential adjustments to reduce the risk of wear or fractures.

Patients with dental restorations must discuss their bruxism habits with their dentists. Custom-made bite guards can provide a protective barrier between teeth during sleep, cushioning the impact of grinding forces on natural teeth and restorations.

Is It Possible To Control Or Stop Bruxism?

Bite guards, also known as nightguards or occlusal splints, are commonly prescribed as a preventive measure against tooth grinding. These custom-made appliances fit over upper or lower teeth surfaces to minimize contact during sleep.

Certain lifestyle modifications can help reduce the frequency and intensity of teeth-grinding episodes. Avoiding stimulating substances like caffeine, developing a regular sleep routine, and implementing stress management techniques are all lifestyle changes that may assist in controlling bruxism. 

Contact a clinic like Rabel Family Dentistry to learn more.