With so many factors influencing the health of your smile and the strength of your teeth, it should not be surprising that there are a number of non-traditional threats as well. What’s more, some concerns can even transcend your oral health and impact your overall health and function without the assistance of proper treatment to manage it. In today’s blog, your Pella, IA dentist is going to take a look at concerns that could be the cause of your tired or sore jaw, and how treatment is needed to ensure proper protection.
Grinding Your Teeth
More often than not, awaking with a sore or tired jaw is indicative of phenomenon known as bruxism or teeth grinding. This happens when an individual subconsciously clenches their teeth together and moves the lower mandible from side-to-side, generating friction between structures. It can also occur while one is awake, but more often than not occurs at night when a person is asleep. There are a few different causes for bruxism, including internal stress or anxiety, or simply the body’s natural response to regulate airflow.
Grinding can also result in a number of immediate side effects. For instance, continued clenching can result in worn teeth that become increasingly more susceptible to infection and breakage. Additionally, individuals that experience bruxism increase their chances of developing far worse conditions down the line, including a jaw dysfunction known as TMJ disorder. To learn more about the causes and side-effects of bruxism, make sure to reach out to our team today.
A Sleep Disorder
One of the reasons you are grinding your teeth could be the result of the body’s natural response to a blocked airway. Concerns such as obstructive sleep apnea occur when the muscles in your throat relax, thus restricting the amount of oxygen your brain is receiving. In response, the brain sends signals to these muscles to tighten so that the path is no longer blocked, which is then accomplished by grinding your teeth. When you grind, the throat muscles restrict.
The concerns that arise with sleep apnea, however, can be deadly without treatment. For this reason, it is imperative you visit our team to learn what your options are for your bruxism.
When one grinds incessantly, the possibility of developing a dangerous jaw dysfunction increases drastically. This issue is called TMJ disorder, and it occurs when your lower mandible becomes misaligned from the two temporomandibular joints where it hinges to your cranium. As your jaw attempts to correct this issue, you may experience a popping or clicking sensation. Without treatment, you can endure significant tissue damage and more.
Learn More Today
To learn more about the causes of bruxism and what you can do to address these concerns, contact Allen & Neumann Family Dentistry in Pella, IA by calling 641-628-1121 to schedule your appointment with us today.