We all have some sort of destructive nervous habit, whether you’re a fidgeter or a nail-biter, these habits all have some sort of negative impact on your life. Bruxism is a habit that can be detrimental to your oral health as well as the appearance of your smile. If you have an issue with grinding your teeth, there are several ways to leave the grind behind.
What is Bruxism?
In order to cure yourself of bruxism, it is important to understand what the condition is. Bruxism is the unconscious grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw. It can occur while you are awake or, quite commonly, when you are sleeping. If you are the victim of sleep grinding, it can be very difficult to diagnose the issue before it starts t0 affect your oral health. Several issues can arise if your bruxism is not properly managed. These issues include:
- TMJ ( Joint Disorder)
- Severe damage to tooth structure
- Headaches and other unpleasant symptoms
What Causes Bruxism?
Bruxism is caused by:
- Negative Emotions: anxiety, stress, and feelings of anger and frustration can cause physical tension and therefore induce bruxism. If you suffer from anxiety disorder it is important to seek medical attention or counseling for it to reduce your chances of developing a severe tooth grinding problem.
- Misalignment of the teeth: jaw alignment and tooth alignment are important components to consider when assessing whether or not you are at risk of bruxism. Improper alignment of the teeth can cause them to unknowingly brush up against each other and can cause serious wear and tear. If your teeth are crooked or misaligned consider fixing them with porcelain veneers or Invisalign.
- Chronic Pain: Some people who suffer from chronic pain resort to grinding their teeth as a method of coping with their pain.
- Sleeping Disorders: People who suffer from sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea oftentimes grind their teeth throughout the night. It is important to receive proper treatment for these disorders or to wear a mouthguard overnight to prevent bruxism.
- Drug Abuse: People who use stimulants such as ecstasy, methamphetamines, or cocaine have a higher risk of developing bruxism.
What Effects Can Bruxism Have on My Oral Health?
Constant grinding of the teeth can have horrible consequences. Not only does bruxing contribute to enamel wear, it can shorten the length of your teeth and significantly ruin your appearance. Bruxism is tied to gum recession (because of the pressure you are putting on your gums) and tooth loss. Abfraction, or the loss of tooth structure, can occur as tooth grinding wears away at the structure of your teeth. These symptoms can lead to a number of other dental disorders and have a destructive impact on your mouth.
How Do I Stop Bruxing?
Bruxism can be cured with a variety of dental and therapeutic approaches. Once you and your dentist have determined the cause of your bruxing, you can choose a suitable method for treating it. These methods include:
- Mouth guards: designed to separate the teeth and often used to treat sleep bruxing, mouth guards are an effective way to minimize dental wear.
- Dental splints: your dentist may recommend the use of dental splints to treat your bruxism. Like mouth guards, splints offer a means of separating teeth as well as an alleviation of discomfort caused by bruxing.
- Corrective dentistry: in more severe cases of bruxism, your dentist may suggest corrective treatment to correct tooth alignment. These options include orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign or cosmetic approaches to restore tooth structure while correcting alignment like porcelain veneers.
To learn more about treating bruxism or receive oral treatment in the Beverly Hills area, schedule your appointment with Dr. Rodney Raanan today.