Maintaining oral health is about so much more than simply brushing and flossing your teeth as recommended. It is also important that you weed out unhealthy habits and conditions that will undermine the very structure of your smile. With that in mind, our Toluca Lake dentists have compiled this information about one common oral health threat—bruxism. Keep reading to learn more…
What Can Cause Bruxism?
There are a number of different possible causes of bruxism. Some patients grind their teeth when they are stressed—this is an involuntary habit that many of us do unconsciously. Dental grinding can also result from poor bite alignment. When your top and bottom teeth do not come together evenly, your lower jaw will slide back and forth in search of a comfortable resting position. Additionally, if you have old or ill-fitting dental restorations, your bite can be negatively affected.
What Are Some Common Warning Signs?
Patients who grind their teeth during the day may be able to recognize bruxism by simply being mindful and taking the time to assess what is happening with their bites. There are also bruxism red flags that can help you identify dental grinding that happens during the day or at night:
- Jaw stiffness
- TMJ pain
- Tooth pain—especially around your back molars
- Headaches—especially when you wake up on the morning
- Stiff neck
- Thin or damaged dental enamel
Are There Treatment Options?
Yes! Our Toluca Lake dentists offer a range of treatment options to fit your unique situation. If, for example, you grind your teeth when you are stressed, you may benefit from incorporating some jaw stretches and stress-reduction measures into your routine. When bruxism is the result of a poorly aligned bite, orthodontic treatment as well as custom-fit restorations or dental bonding can help bring the smile into balance. Additionally, there are protective oral appliances available to shield your enamel from tooth-on-tooth contact.
Think you might be dealing with bruxism or a related structural oral health problem? Contact our Toluca Lake dentists to schedule a personal consultation with our team!