If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, you could be putting your oral health at risk. Uncomfortable symptoms associated with this behavior will worsen as it continues.
Your dentist can help you stop the habit, called bruxism, and alleviate these symptoms. If you suspect that you have bruxism, schedule a consultation with your dentist to find a treatment that can preserve your smile. Dr. Keith Boenning, a dentist practicing in Towson, MD, lists three oral health concerns that can form if you regularly grind or clench your teeth.
Risks of Teeth Grinding and Clenching
As you grind and clench your teeth, the grating of the top and bottom arches of teeth against one another creates pressure. Your teeth are durable and experience wear and tear on a regular basis. But this abnormally high pressure could cause teeth to crack, chip, or fracture.
Minor tooth breakage may be fixed through cosmetic dentistry. But more severe damage may need restorative dental solutions, such as a dental crown.
You can avoid this extensive and expensive dental work by treating bruxism promptly. If you grind your teeth at night, dentists may recommend a custom-made mouthguard that you can wear as you sleep to protect your teeth from this unconscious behavior.
The pressure from persistent bruxism can affect your jaw as well. Your jaw may become sore, and it may develop a clicking sound and lose its mobility as teeth grinding continues.
Eventually, your jaw health may deteriorate to temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMJ. This condition will not go away on its own and will require intervention from your dentist. They begin treating this issue by addressing the root cause, which in many cases is bruxism.
Some people grind their teeth because their teeth are crooked or their jaws are misaligned. However, bruxism can also initiate or exacerbate this problem. Bite misalignment can make you unhappy with your smile’s appearance and interfere with your oral functions.
If your teeth become crooked, a dental professional may recommend orthodontics to resolve this issue. But if teeth grinding continues, your teeth may shift out of place. This could make it difficult to keep your teeth clean with your typical oral hygiene routine, increasing your risk of other dental problems.
The pressure and movement of bruxism might cause teeth to become loose in their sockets as well. You may be at risk of tooth loss, which will require extensive restorative dentistry and tooth replacement treatment. Your dentist can evaluate any damage caused by this behavior during a consultation appointment.
Treatment for TMJ and Other Concerns in Towson, MD
Boenning and Dancykier Dental Implants and Cosmetic Dentistry offer treatment for TMJ and other dental problems to patients in Towson, MD. Dr. Boenning specializes in restorative, implant, cosmetic, and general dentistry, including sedation dentistry options. To schedule a consultation with our practice, contact our staff online or reach us by phone at 410.324.2294.