Toluca Lake Dentist Helps You Learn More About Bruxism So That You Can Protect Your Smile

Written by Dr. McKay on Dec 11, 2012

Our Toluca Lake dentists see many adult patients who notice slight, but still worrisome changes to their smiles with age. Many times, these dental issues can be attributed to bruxism.

If you are unsure of what bruxism is, or how it might be impacting your smile, please keep reading this short, informative article. The more you know about how bruxism presents, and how it harms smiles, the better you’ll be able to protect your teeth from this insidious issue.

What is bruxism?

The term “bruxism” refers to a habit: the habit of grinding or clenching one’s teeth together. This habit is especially likely to pop up in times of stress, but some people have underlying issues that make them prone to suffering from bruxism (more on this later). Bruxism can happen during the day, or at night, when the patient is asleep.

What causes bruxism?

As we previously mentioned, stress and anxiety can cause you to grind your teeth—it is very common or people to hold stress and tension in their jaws. Additionally, however, you may grind your teeth because you have poorly aligned bite surfaces—this makes it difficult for your smile to find a comfortable “resting place” at night. Bruxism can also result from, and exacerbate, existing TMJ dysfunction and damage.

What can I do about bruxism?

Stress-related bruxism can be managed with stress management techniques and exercises. Your dentists may also recommend that you refine/reposition your bite surfaces treat bruxism. Finally, there are custom crafted mouth pieces that provide bruxism relief for many people, especially nighttime bruxism sufferers.

Long-term, untreated bruxism can weaken your smile, and lead to dental damage. So take the proactive steps necessary to protect your smile from chronic bruxism before you’re dealing with long-term damage. Our Toluca Lake dentists are here to help, so feel free to call our dental team to get started!