How Does Teeth Grinding Harm Your Smile?

teeth grinding bruxism applianceAs children, we often go through a period of teeth grinding, but this issue is short-lived and passes with time. However, if we begin to frequently grind our teeth at night as adults, this could be a serious concern that needs treatment. In today’s blog, your Astoria, NY, dentist explains how we diagnose and treat bruxism with a custom-made oral appliance.

The Causes of Bruxism

Why do we start frequently grinding our teeth at night? A number of factors could cause this disorder, such as high levels of stress in your day-to-day life, tooth loss, bite imbalance, dental misalignment, or injury to the face or jaw. Untreated TMJ disorder could lead to the issue, as could caffeinated foods and drinks, or chewing on hard objects, like pens, pencils, and ice.

The Impact of Teeth Grinding

When we grind and clench our teeth nightly, this places serious pressure on the teeth. The outer structure could begin to chip and crack, which exposes the sensitive inner structure to bacteria, allowing a cavity or infection to form. The pressure could also wear down outer structure, again leading to decay or infection. Warning signs of bruxism could include headaches or migraines, pain in the jaw or face, or tooth sensitivity and toothaches. If you experience one or more of these potential warning signs, then you should contact our team for treatment.

Treating Your Smile

We begin by carefully examining your smile with advanced technology, such as digital x-rays and intraoral cameras. We then obtain a detailed picture of your oral health, and can identify the wear and friction that indicates the presence of grinding and clenching. We then choose the best treatment option. For some, we could improve bite balance with the placement of custom dental crowns, or by correcting misalignment with ClearCorrect aligners.

However, the most common treatment involves an oral appliance. We take detailed impressions and measurements of your smile, using the information to design a device that looks and fits like a mouthguard. Worn as you sleep, the device repositions the jaw to ease pressure, and also places a barrier between the upper and lower teeth from further injury. This solution also addresses a related disorder known as TMD, or TMJ disorder. If you have any questions about treating bruxism, then please contact our team today.

Don’t Live With Teeth Grinding

We want to help restore the health and function of your smile with a custom oral appliance, or possibly the placement of a restoration. Treatment helps prevent serious disorders and protects your smile from complications. To learn more about our approach to preventive and general treatments, then schedule a consultation by calling Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, in Astoria, NY, today at 718-728-8320.