A lot of factors can threaten your oral health, from poor oral hygiene to eating too much of certain foods. In some cases, genetics may even play a role in your risk of developing oral health issues. Sometimes, however, you can be your oral health’s worst enemy through habits that prove detrimental to your teeth and gums. One common habit can even affect your oral health for years to come, and if left unchecked, can lead to the need for extensive dental work to repair the damage. Sheridan dentist Dr. Coon explains how nighttime bruxism devastates your oral health.
What is Bruxism?
Most people grind or clench their teeth on occasion, usually when frustrated or angry. Some people do it without even realizing it, and some people do habitually. This habit is called bruxism, and often occurs at night, when the patient is asleep. Being nocturnal, the habit typically is not discovered until damage to your teeth begins to manifest itself.
Structural Damage to Your Teeth
The constant grinding and clenching can place undue strain and pressure on your jaws and teeth. The excessive force can eventually wear down your teeth, changing the way your bite is aligned. Excessively worn teeth usually have less enamel, and are therefore more susceptible to damage and infection. Cracks, fractures, and tooth sensitivity are common results of the bruxism habit.
Distressed Jaw Joints
Your temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, are the large joints in front of each ear that hold your lower jaw to your skull. Constantly grinding your teeth also places these joints under undue stress, and in time, the joints can become damaged, leading to the severe discomfort of TMJ disorder. Conversely, the presence of TMJ disorder can also exacerbate or cause the habit of bruxism, creating a vicious cycle that must be addressed before your oral health is irreversibly affected.
Excellent Dental Health Care in Sheridan
To learn more about protecting your teeth from bruxism, or to speak with your Sheridan dentist, schedule a consultation at Grinnell Street Dental by contacting our Sheridan dentist office at (307) 672-7567. We welcome patients from Sheridan, WY and the surrounding communities.