When you think of preventive dentistry, your most obvious concern may be preventing oral bacteria from overwhelming your teeth and causing cavities or gum disease. However, bacteria-related issues aren’t the only threats to your smile, which is why maintaining a schedule of preventive cleanings and exams is vital to good oral health. During your visits, your dentist can also checkup for other threats to your smile, such as chronic teeth-grinding (also known as bruxism). Left unchecked, bruxism can lead to a host of increasingly worse dental health concerns, and you should address it as soon as possible to avoid more serious harm to your teeth.
What Grinding Does to Your Teeth
Your teeth were meant to grind and tear your food, and to do this consistently, they’re made of the most resilient substance your body produces (enamel). However, when there isn’t any food between your teeth, the immense pressure from grinding and chewing can quickly wear down your tooth enamel. Eventually, the wear and damage can reach your tooth’s main structure, called dentin, underneath the enamel. As your tooth structure wears down, your teeth become weaker and more susceptible to decay. Your bite also loses its balance, resulting in undue stress on some teeth and your jaw’s joints – a precursor to TMJ disorder.
You May Not Notice It Right Away
The consequences of bruxism are the reason why you should treat it once it’s detected. However, the reason you shouldn’t hesitate is because by the time your bruxism is diagnosed, you may have already suffered significant tooth wear and damage. The sooner you strengthen your tooth structure and alleviate the symptoms of grinding, the better chance you’ll have of fully restoring your smile without needing extensive treatment.
Find Out if You Need Bruxism Treatment
If your dentist detects signs of bruxism during your next examination, then you should treat it as soon as possible to avoid more extensive damage to your teeth. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-1678.