If you grind your teeth when you’re stressed or angry, then it isn’t really a condition. If you do it as a nervous tic, then it may be considered a habit. However, if you grind your teeth constantly and often unconsciously, such as when you’re asleep, then it’s likely indicative of bruxism—a dental condition that you will need help from your dentist to address. Unlike a stressful moment or a nervous habit, the consistent teeth grinding can have serious consequences for your oral health, and if you exhibit signs of it, then your dentist warns not to ignore bruxism.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism describes the incessant grinding of your teeth that can result from a number of different underlying issues, including crooked teeth and TMJ disorder. In many cases, it occurs most often at night, and for many patients, it can go on for years before it is noticed and treated. Keeping your teeth clean and healthy prevents issues like tooth decay and gum disease from forming, but bruxism threatens your oral health in a unique way. By constantly grinding together, your teeth can end up wearing each other down, weakening their structures until they crack, fracture, or break.
How Can Your Dentist Help?
To treat bruxism, your dentist may be able to design a custom oral appliance that protects your teeth from the dangers of grinding and clenching together. The appliance is similar to a sports mouthguard, but smaller and more comfortable so you can still sleep peacefully, and it prevents your teeth from making contact with each other. If your teeth have already been worn or damaged, then your treatment might also include an appropriate restoration, such as bonding or a dental crown.
Ask Your Dentist How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth
If you grind your teeth more often than usual, then don’t ignore it; call your dentist and find out how to stop before your teeth become severely worn or damaged. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in Des Moines, IA, today at (515) 244-9565.