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General Dentistry to Combat the Effects of Teeth Grinding

Dr. Degel Jul 3, 2015

Woman in pain holding her jawYou may not consider teeth grinding to be a serious dental problem. After all, it is not as alarming as decay or a root canal infection. However, teeth grinding, or bruxism, can have severe consequences for your oral health. Along with significant discomfort, the condition can damage your teeth and raise your risk for temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder. Fortunately, as part of our general dentistry services, we offer effective care for bruxism. In most cases, we will recommend a mouth guard, but in some instances, you may need restorative treatment. Dr. Degel will evaluate your teeth and your current symptoms to ascertain the right option for you. To learn more about teeth grinding dangers, contact our Queens practice today.

Teeth Grinding and Its Causes

There are several things that can lead to chronic jaw clenching and teeth grinding. The common causes of this condition include:

  • Stress: Anxiety is the number one reason for bruxism. If you are under a lot of pressure, your body will produce excess adrenaline. To rid yourself of this energy, you may grind your jaw, especially at night.
  • Missing teeth: For optimal oral health, each upper tooth should touch the corresponding lower tooth. If you have gaps in your smile, you may move your jaw back and forth, trying to restore proper alignment unconsciously.
  • Misaligned jaw: A protruding upper or lower jaw can increase your risk for bruxism.
  • Sleep apnea: If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, you are also more likely to grind your teeth.

The Dangers of Bruxism

Whatever the causes of your bruxism, the condition can pose a number of dangers for your oral health. The effects of this condition can include:

  • Facial pain: The constant motion of your jaw will put tremendous pressure on your joints. In response, your facial muscles and ligaments may become inflamed. You may suffer localized discomfort, radiating pain, or chronic headaches.
  • Tooth erosion: Over time, your teeth will start to wear away due to constant pressure. Not only will this alter your appearance, it will also exacerbate your bruxism.
  • Cracked teeth: Similarly, constant grinding and clenching can cause small, hairline cracks in your teeth.
  • TMJ disorder: If you do not seek treatment for bruxism, the soft discs inside your jaw joints may slip out of place. TMD can lead to chronic discomfort and headaches.

Treatment for Teeth Grinding

Because of the many dangers associated with bruxism, it is imperative to seek out timely treatment. Dr. Degel will usually provide a custom-made mouthguard. The comfortable device will fit around your upper and lower teeth, preventing them from touching. Typically, you will only have to wear the mouthguard while you sleep.

If your bruxism is the result of dental imbalance or missing teeth, you may need restorative treatment. Crowns can build up worn or disproportionately small teeth, redistributing the force of your bite. They can also repair teeth that have worn down because of bruxism. A bridge can replace missing teeth to restore your smile and oral function.

Contact Us for the Treatment You Need

Dr. Degel will work tirelessly to find the right option for your teeth grinding. Contact our office to schedule an appointment and learn the most effective way to protect your oral health.

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