Why Grinding Your Teeth Might Be Serious

Of the many things you try to protect your teeth from, grinding may not seem like a high concern. However, if you have bruxism, then it might be your most serious and immediate one. Bruxism, or chronic teeth-grinding, can quickly wear down your tooth structure, which can lead to a host of increasingly more serious dental health threats. If you catch yourself grinding your teeth often, or if your feel increasingly more sensitive and you aren’t sure why, then speak with your dentist to find out if you should worry about bruxism.

What Bruxism Could Indicate

  • Bite misalignment – When your teeth and jaws are aligned properly, they shouldn’t move unless you want them to. Yet, misalignment can cause your jaws to sit uncomfortably, and as it tries to situate itself, your jaw muscles can force your teeth against each other.
  • High levels of stress – When you’re chronically stressed, your body goes into a prolonged state of fight-or-flight, which causes all of the muscles in your body to tense up. This includes your jaw muscles, and a tense jaw means tense pressure between your upper and lower teeth, causing them to grind together.
  • TMJ disorder – TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder describes a dysfunction in one or both of your jaw’s joints. Often the result of bite misalignment, TMJ disorder is a common cause behind bruxism, and it can also be a symptom of it. Over time, chronic teeth-grinding can tax your jaw joints and muscles, exacerbating the symptoms of both TMJ disorder and bruxism.

Find Out if Your Teeth-Grinding Problem Is Serious

If you experience bruxism, then the constant grinding of your teeth could be more serious to your oral health than you initially realize. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.