Teeth grinding is something everyone does from time to time. It’s a natural reaction when you become stressed or frustrated. For millions of individuals though, that teeth grinding isn’t limited to these isolated moments. For those individuals, teeth grinding is a chronic, subconscious issue. It’s known as “bruxism,” and it does its damage at night while you sleep. While normal teeth grinding isn’t much to worry about, the chronic effects of bruxism can cause serious damage to your teeth and pose an oral health risk. To combat the effects of bruxism, you should talk to your dentist.
Bruxism Can Pose a Serious Oral Health Risk
Bruxism is particularly dangerous because it’s difficult to self diagnose. The characteristic teeth grinding of bruxism occurs while you’re sleeping, so most individuals don’t realize they’re doing it. Some of the patients who do realize they’re grinding their teeth don’t understand the severity of the condition. That kind of consistent pressure can cause significant wear on your teeth. Your teeth may grind down prematurely, or you may even cause internal damage to the teeth. That initial physical damage to your teeth can open you up to infection and decay that speeds the process of wear.
Wearing a Nightguard from Your Dentist Protects Your Teeth
What can you do to combat the serious effects of bruxism? Your dentist can actually help in many cases. Often, simply wearing a custom nightguard while you sleep can protect your teeth. A nightguard looks and functions much like an athletic mouthguard. It’s an oral appliance that you wear while you sleep to prevent your teeth from grinding against each other. The nightguard is comfortable enough that you can sleep without an issue as you wear the appliance through the night.
Characteristics of Bruxism to Monitor
If you notice the signs of bruxism, you should talk to your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you address the problem, the lower your risk for oral health issues. While you may not be able to catch yourself grinding your teeth at night, you can look for characteristic signs of bruxism. If you wake up in the morning with unexplained jaw pain or headaches, these could be caused by bruxism. If you notice pain in the mandibular joints, where your jaws connect, this is often caused by teeth grinding in your sleep.
Treat Your Bruxism at Cerritos Dental Surgery
If you’re unsure about whether you have bruxism, talk to your dentist. Explain your symptoms and discuss solutions. It’s important to protect your teeth from this condition because it can directly impact the longevity of your smile!
ABOUT YOUR CERRITOS, CA, ORAL SURGEON:
Dr. Shawn Hofkes and the staff at Cerritos Dental Surgery are highly qualified to address complex issues, including those that require oral surgery to correct. To schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly welcome patients of all ages from Cerritos, CA, and all surrounding communities, such as Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and more.