Teeth Grinding Dangers: What Patients Should Know
by Robert Rapisarda
Patients throughout the Boston area put their trust in Dr. Robert Rapisarda because of his commitment to total wellness. He offers advanced restorative dentistry treatments to restore dental health, with a focus on making smiles as beautiful as possible.
Various restorative and general dentistry approaches may be considered when treating teeth grinding. Let’s consider this matter in more detail right now.
About Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding (aka bruxism) is a condition in which a person gnashes, shifts, and clenches his or her teeth while sleeping. This condition may be related to excessive stress, poor tooth alignment, or a combination of the two.
Over a long period of time, teeth grinding can lead to serious problems with dental health and general wellness.
Causing Damage to Tooth Structure
Because of the stress placed on the teeth due to the grinding, it should come as no surprise that teeth grinding can lead to damage to the teeth and general tooth structure. Chips and cracks may develop, and the teeth may be weakened in the process, meaning that more severe tooth damage may be likely.
Potentially Causing Gum Recession
In addition to doing damage to the teeth, teeth grinding can also do damage to the gum tissue. Gum recession is not uncommon when a person suffers from tooth grinding. This means that the gumline gradually diminishes, revealing more of the tooth’s root structure in the process. This can make tooth decay below the gumline more likely.
Wear and Tear to the Jaw Joint
In addition to causing damage to the teeth and gums, teeth grinding can also cause major damage to the jaw joint. The stress placed on the jaw joint can lead to a TMJ disorder, which is characterized by the locking, clicking, and popping of the jaw joint. This can make speaking and eating difficult and even painful tasks.
Options for Treating Bruxism and Its Dangers
When it comes to treating teeth grinding, it’s important to identify and treat the root cause of the problem. One treatment or multiple treatments may be used in order to address the condition.
One facet of treating teeth grinding would be using a bite guard/night guard. This is a protective mouth guard that is worn when a patient is asleep. When in the place, the bite guard prevents contact between the upper and lower teeth, reducing the amount of damage that may be done to the teeth as well as the jaw joint.
If the teeth grinding is the result of stress, it’s important to consider stress management techniques, such as regular exercise, breathing exercises, and changes to diet. Reducing stress and anxiety can go a long way toward treating teeth grinding.
Since tooth misalignment is a cause and/or contributing factor to teeth grinding, orthodontic care is a potential treatment option to consider as well. By improving tooth alignment, a patient’s teeth will be able to find a better overall rest position, which prevents the shifting and clenching during sleep.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Robert Rapisarda
To learn more about teeth grinding and how it can be successfully treated and prevented, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Rapisarda and his team look forward to your visit and helping you achieve optimal dental health and wellness.