Typically, the biggest threats to your smile – tooth decay, infection, and more – are often caused by harmful oral bacteria that have not been properly managed and can result in tooth loss. For a number of other people, however, the more concerning of situations involves what occurs when they unconsciously grind their teeth, often while sleeping. In today’s blog, your Conroe, TX dentist will discuss the effects that grinding really has on your smile as well as how our team is here to help.
Increased Chances of Infection
When you experience an extended period of time of grinding your teeth, this phenomenon is known as bruxism. Causes for bruxism can range, from environmental stressors to internal anxiety, and many items in-between. It typically occurs when one is unconscious or asleep, with little to no control over the intensity or frequency of grinding. Because of this, you may awaken with a headache, aching jaw, and even difficulty moving your lower mandible.
Another concern you must be wary of when it comes to chronic bruxism is how it affects your oral health. For instance, the process of grinding consists of clenching the teeth tightly together and moving the lower jaw back-and-forth from side-to-side. This leads to surfaces becoming worn as they are constantly being rubbed together, creating friction and leaving way for harmful oral bacteria to more easily infiltrate and infect your structures. If you suspect that you may be experiencing this phenomenon, please contact our office immediately to learn how we can best help you.
Mild to Severe Discomfort
In addition to the structural concerns that arise from bruxism, bear in mind that you will experience functional ones as well as side effects. For instance, you may endure tension-related headaches, soreness or stiffness in the jaw, difficulty opening the mouth or biting, chewing, and speaking, and even pain. What’s more, time will not help when it comes to your condition, as unlike a stomach ache, your issues will not eventually subside. In other words, it will continue to get worse as time goes by. To avoid the major damage and implications that arise from chronic grinding, it is best to seek help immediately.
The Threats of TMJ Disorder
If left untreated, you could develop larger concerns such as TMJ disorder. This disorder occurs when your lower mandible becomes misaligned from the temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s) at which it hinges. When this occurs, you will experience a popping or clicking sensation in the jaw that can become painful, as well as constant tension and strain as it attempts to correct the misalignment. In situations such as these, you will need the help of an experienced dentist and treatment such as splint therapy to restore your smile’s function.
Schedule Your Appointment
For more information about the effects of bruxism or to schedule your appointment with our team, contact The Dental Centre of Conroe in Conroe, TX by calling 936-441-4600 today.