Taking effective care of your smile involves a number of moving parts, and nothing is more important than maintaining an effective preventive dental routine. Indeed, a thorough routine consists of various practices that treat your teeth, gums, tongue, and more. Though dental decay and gum infection are among the most common threats we often face, there exist a myriad of other concerns that may not be so traditional. In today’s blog, your Pella, IA dentist takes a look at the dangers of incessant teeth grinding, as well as what your options for treatment may be.
The Dangers of Teeth Grinding
Waking up with a sore jaw can easily be attributed to sleeping in a weird position, but when it begins to occur all of the time, it is important to visit your dentist and see what your options may be. Indeed, some individuals experience bruxism as they slumber, which is also known as chronic teeth grinding. During this phenomenon, a person may consciously or unconsciously clench his or her teeth and move the lower jaw from side to side.
The friction that occurs as a result of the tight clenching can harm your smile significantly. First, the consistent rubbing can wear down the natural enamel that is present on your teeth, making them more susceptible to infection and bacteria, as well as causing sensitivity. Further, these weakened teeth can become more brittle, making them susceptible to chips and cracks. Without proper treatment, these results may be inevitable. To learn more about this process and how our team can help, give our office a call today.
Potential for TMJ Disorder
In addition to weaker teeth, incessant teeth grinding lends its way to the development of a dangerous jaw dysfunction known as TMJ disorder. This phenomenon occurs when the lower mandible becomes misaligned with one or both of the joints at which it hinges to the cranium. These joints are known as the temporomandibular joints (TMJs).
A person who experiences TMJ disorder may also endure a number of signs or symptoms. These can include a noticeable popping or clicking in the jaw, the inability to open the mouth fully, pain, and significant tissue damage. Contact our team today to learn about your options.
Treatment Options to Consider
Both TMJ disorder and bruxism are unfavorable phenomena to endure, but all hope is not lost. In fact, a custom oral appliance can protect your teeth at night while you slumber, and splint therapy can help gradually and safely guide your lower jaw back into place. The important thing to consider, however, is that it is always better to seek treatment sooner rather than later, and we encourage you to reach out if you believe you are experiencing either of these conditions.
Learn More Today
Contact Allen & Neumann Family Dentistry in Pella, IA by calling 641-628-1121 to learn more about your options for treating bruxism and TMJ disorder, and schedule your next appointment with our team today.