Bruxism, which is the medical term for grinding your teeth, might seem like an issue that is rather harmless. However, you may be surprised to learn that grinding teeth can seriously jeopardize your oral health. There are a variety of reasons why you might be grinding your teeth. Regardless of whether stress is the root cause or missing teeth are effecting your bite, thereby causing you bruxism, Dr. Patel DDS can help to alleviate tooth grinding and give you a more confident smile.
What are the dangers of grinding teeth?
Grinding teeth, especially on a long term basis, can result in a myriad of dental problems that will require further treatment to remedy. Bruxism can lead to fractured teeth, tooth loss, and loosened teeth. If the tooth grinding is severe, then it may even wear the teeth down so much that the tooth becomes nothing more than a stump or exposed roots. Grinding teeth can also produce hearing loss, changes in the structure of your jaw and face, and might cause TMJ. In addition to all of these dangers, grinding your teeth typically results in pain and tenderness in your mouth an face.
How can a dentist help stop tooth grinding?
If you know that you are grinding your teeth, either at night or throughout the day, then you should see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will be able to fix the dental issues that are causing bruxism, such as bit issues or crooked teeth, and can set forth a treatment plan that can result in the cessation of teeth grinding. Your dentist may also recommend that you wear a night guard at night, in order to prevent any further damage to your teeth and gums. Often you can reduce how often you grind your teeth or completely stop in a relatively short amount of time. Muscle relaxants might also be prescribed for some patients.
What are some things that I can do at home to prevent tooth grinding?
Once you have seen your dentist and remedied any dental problems that you may have had, there are a number of things that you can do on your own to prevent further teeth grinding incidents. For example, given that stress can contribute to bruxism, it’s wise to participate in stress reducing activities, such as exercise or relaxation techniques like yoga. Also, you will want to avoid chewing gum, and will want to reduce your intake of sodas and sugary foods. If you should find that you are clenching your jaw and teeth, then you may want to try consciously relaxing or applying a lukewarm washcloth to your jaw to relax the muscles.
If you suffer from bruxism, please call (310) 549-2400 or email us today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Vaishali Patel DDS. Even if you have been putting off a visit to the dentist for some time, Dr. Patel and her staff can help to get your oral health back on track and remedy any dental issues that may be causing you to grind your teeth, in addition to keeping you from having a brilliant smile.