If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, a behavior that dentists call bruxism, you could put the structure and appearance of your smile at risk. Bruxism can be annoying, but it could also pose a danger to the health of your teeth and jaw.
Your dentist can help you stop bruxism through a number of treatment options, including mouthguards and Invisalign. They can determine the best way to amend this behavior during a consultation appointment. Dr. Christopher Rebol, a dentist practicing in Asheville, NC, provides three ways that treating bruxism can improve your oral health.
Alleviate Jaw Pain
When you grind or clench your teeth, you generate an abnormally high amount of pressure that extends from your teeth to your jaw. This can create uncomfortable symptoms like soreness, tightness, and a clicking sound in the jaw.
If bruxism continues, this condition can worsen and turn into temporomandibular joint disorders, also known as TMJ, which can lead to a decline in the jaw’s capabilities. This problem will not go away on its own, but your dentist can help you alleviate jaw pain and disfunction by treating the underlying cause, which often stems from bruxism. Dentists can recommend exercises to relax muscles in the jaw and relieve tightness in this area, but treating bruxism will provide a more long-term resolution for patients with TMJ.
Prevent Tooth Breakage
Your teeth are durable and withstand a great deal of wear and tear routinely. But continuous bruxism creates pressure that can cause your teeth to crack, chip, or fracture.
Smaller breakage in the teeth may be amended with cosmetic dental treatments like tooth bonding. More severe damage may require restorative dental solutions such as a dental crown.
Teeth grinding often happens without a patient’s awareness, so dental professionals have developed treatments that offer protection from this behavior if it persists. Dentists may recommend that patients wear a custom-made mouthguard overnight to shield their teeth from bruxism that may occur as a patient sleeps.
Keep Teeth Aligned
Repeated grating of the top arch of teeth against the bottom teeth may cause teeth to shift out of place. This could leave your teeth overlapping or crooked, hindering the look of your smile. It can also make it more difficult to keep your teeth clean, putting you at risk of tooth decay and other dental concerns.
Your dentist can help you straighten your smile if this occurs using Invisalign, a set of plastic aligners that will gradually move your teeth into alignment. However, you can prevent the need for this type of cosmetic solution by treating bruxism before it causes this issue.
TMJ Treatment and More from Your Asheville, NC Dentist
Rebol Family Dentistry offers TMJ treatment and other restorative dental solutions to patients in Asheville, NC. Dr. Rebol also specializes in cosmetic and general dentistry, including both preventative and emergency dental care, for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 828.247.7222 or reach our staff online.