We all know how important it is to protect our smiles from infections and cavities. However, there are other, lesser-known threats to optimal oral health. Today our Toluca Lake dentists are going to be talking about one oral health issue, in particular: bruxism. Keep reading to learn more about why bruxism develops, and why it is so important to address this problem.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition that is characterized by chronic dental and grinding. Some bruxism sufferers tend to grind and clench their teeth at night while they are asleep—this can make bruxism particularly difficult to diagnose and treat.
Why does bruxism occur?
There are a number of different root causes of bruxism, and determining the source of your dental grinding habit can help you get the specific type of treatment that you need.
Stress: sometimes people start grinding and clenching their teeth because they are feeling stressed or anxious. This habit is largely unconscious; it is a way to get rid of some nervous energy and tension.
Misaligned bite: if your top and bottom teeth do not come together naturally and comfortably, you may experience bruxism as a result. This type of bruxism is especially common at night, because as you are sleeping, your top and bottom jaw attempt to find a comfortable resting position. If your jaw does not close naturally, your top and bottom teeth may grind back and forth in search of a comfortable position.
TMJ damage: patients who have sustained jaw or maxillofacial injuries may deal with bruxism due to temporomandibular damage. TMJ dysfunction, or TMD, may cause bruxism, and, unfortunately, bruxism can actually further damage a patient’s TMJ; it is important to seek treatment in order to break this damaging cycle.
Our Toluca Lake dentists are here to provide you with all of the information and treatment that you need to address bruxism. We look forward to speaking with you!