It goes without saying that taking care of your smile is considered to be a lifelong process, as the barrage of threats that influence your oral health does not cease at a specific point. Indeed, there are what seem to be endless sources of harm that your smile must constantly be on the defensive from, and some factors may surprise you more than others. In today’s blog, your Conroe, TX dentist examines the effect of chronic teeth-grinding and what it means for your health, as well as how a custom oral appliance can help.
Dangers of Chronic Teeth-Grinding
Teeth-grinding is a phenomenon that occurs when a person consciously or unconsciously clenches his or her structures together and proceeds to move the lower jaw from side to side. This action inevitably creates friction between structures and can cause some serious damage if it is not properly addressed.
Because teeth-grinding occurs more often when a person is asleep, you may not necessarily know it is happening. To help identify the concern, you should take note of a few potential indicators, including waking up with a sore or tense jaw, pain in the jaw, and sensitive teeth.
As the phenomenon continues, your teeth become increasingly more at risk for bacterial infection. This is due to the fact that your structures are essentially wearing down the protective layer of enamel. Similarly, this can also lead to increased fragility and the ability for teeth to crack and chip much easier. To learn more about this process and how it affects your oral health, make sure to contact our office and speak with our team.
How it Leads to Jaw Dysfunction
Believe it or not, the problems listed above are actually the least of your worries. In fact, the more you grind your structures, the more likely you are to experience a dangerous jaw dysfunction known as TMJ disorder.
TMJ disorder occurs when your lower mandible becomes misaligned from one or both temporomandibular joints (TMJs). As a result, you may experience a noticeable popping or clicking sensation in the jaw as it attempts to realign. Major complications can arise from this situation if you do not seek help, including difficulty opening the mouth, pain, and even tissue damage.
What are Your Options?
In order to address TMJ disorder, your dentist may suggest the use of sling therapy to help gradually guide the jawbone back into place. Additionally, restorative treatment to reduce damage endured by chronic bruxism may be required, such as the use of an oral appliance to protect your sensitive structures.
Schedule Your Visit
To learn more about the dangers of jaw dysfunction and chronic bruxism, contact The Dental Centre of Conroe in Conroe, TX by calling 936-441-4600 and schedule your next appointment with our team today.