If you read an article or two about bruxism and then catch yourself grinding your teeth, then you might immediately worry if you should visit your dentist for bruxism treatment. On the contrary, if you’ve never heard of bruxism, then you might not find your occasional teeth-grinding habit worrisome at all. In fact, many people with bruxism don’t realize that they have it until they experience severe tooth wear and damage. Many others, however, find out about and treat their bruxism with help from their dentist, before the condition leads to progressively worse dental health issues.
The Line Between Habit and Bruxism
Teeth-grinding and bruxism are not synonymous. Just because you clench your teeth together in a moment of stress, pain, or anger doesn’t mean that you need custom bruxism treatment. The condition refers to the tendency to grind your teeth unconsciously and uncontrollably, usually while you sleep at night. If you have bruxism, then it means you grind your teeth so much that the pressure and friction are bound to destroy your healthy tooth structure.
How Your Dentist Can Help You Stop
If your dentist diagnoses you with bruxism, then treating it will depend on how severe your condition is and whether or not you’ve already harmed your tooth structure. In many cases, the grinding can be addressed with a custom-designed oral appliance, or nightguard. The appliance stops your teeth from rubbing together, like a sports mouthguard but smaller and more comfortable. If one or more of your teeth are worn down, chipped, or cracked, then treatment might also include tooth bonding or a dental crown to restore the tooth structure.
Find Out if You Have Bruxism and Need Treatment
The good news is that, even if you don’t know that you have bruxism, your dentist can detect it early if you attend regular dental exam and cleaning appointments. To find out if you have bruxism and need treatment to protect your smile, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.