How Does Bruxism Damage My Teeth?
There are those who occasionally grind their teeth and do not need treatment, but others can develop a severe habit that can cause serious damage to their teeth and jaw. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can be so damaging that over time some people wear their teeth down to tiny stumps and need to have a full-mouth restoration with crowns, bridges, root canals, dental implants, or possible dentures. Because so many people only grind their teeth at night, you may not be aware that you are damaging your teeth; however, it is possible to grind or clench your teeth during the day as well. It is important to seek treatment immediately if you suspect you may suffer from teeth grinding. If left untreated, bruxism can also affect your jaw and may lead to hearing loss, changing facial appearance, TMJ disorders, chronic pain, and headaches.
What Happens When I Grind My Teeth?
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, refers to forceful contact between teeth whether you are violently grating your teeth together or quietly clenching your teeth.
Either action can cause serious damage, including:
Fracturing of teeth
Loss of teeth
Wearing down of enamel
12 Precent of the US population has TMJ disorder
Ninety-five percent of those with TMJ disorder are women
More than three million cases of TMJ are diagnosed each year
TMJ Treatment in St. Johns, MI
Dr. Gentner is able to quickly diagnose your bruxism, locate the source of your teeth grinding, and treat your TMJ or other complications quickly and effectively. She might suggest a simple change of lifestyle habits that reduce stress or eliminate a trigger food from your diet. You might need to wear a bite guard to prevent wear on your teeth, or require occlusal splint therapy to treat damage to the jaw joint. You may need an occlusal adjustment to stop your teeth grinding. An occlusal adjustment involves minor reshaping of the chewing and incisal surfaces of your teeth to guide them into a better position and reduce the clenching and grinding forces.