When we grind our teeth, this constant pressure could eventually damage teeth and lead to major complications, including decay and infection. For those who grind and clench their teeth on a regular basis, they may suffer from a disorder known as bruxism. In today’s blog, your Astoria, NY, dentist explains how we identify and treat bruxism!
The Dangers of Bruxism
When we grind and clench our teeth, we place pressure on them. Eventually, this pressure could begin to wear down the outer enamel, a protective layer of tooth structure that safeguards the inner dentin and pulp against harmful bacteria. The tooth structure could also crack and chip. This damage then exposes these sensitive inner structures and allows a cavity to form. You begin to develop toothaches and tooth sensitivity as the issue worsens and eventually, your teeth could actually become infected or abscessed. More extensive treatment will be needed to correct the issue and without it, your tooth could actually become lost!
Possible Signs of Trouble
If you have a significant other, he or she will likely let you know if you grind your teeth at night. Otherwise, you need to watch for the common daytime symptoms, as most episodes happen as we sleep. You may experience headaches and migraines, soreness in the face or jaw, pain in the neck or shoulders, and tooth sensitivity and toothaches. The issue could strain the jaw joints and increase the risk of TMJ disorder, and with it comes popping or crackling sensation in the jaw, as well as trouble fully opening and closing the mouth. If you experience one or more of these possible warning signs, then please let us now as soon as possible.
Treatment with a Custom Appliance
To address both bruxism and TMJ disorder, we will likely take detailed impressions and images of your smile, using them to craft an oral appliance that fits like a mouthguard. You wear the device as you sleep and it helps reposition the jaw to ease strain and places a barrier between your upper and lower sets of teeth to avoid further damage. You then enjoy better rest and fewer uncomfortable symptoms. We can also employ dental bonding or custom crowns to repair the damage to your smile. Other treatment options could include the use of clear orthodontic aligners or the placement of restorations. If you have any questions about treating teeth grinding, or if you want to schedule a consultation, then contact our team today.
Do You Have Questions About Treating Bruxism?
We can help put a stop your teeth grinding and even repair your worn down, cracked, or chipped teeth. To learn more about teeth grinding, then schedule a consultation, call Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, in Astoria, NY, today at 718-728-8320.