Grinding your teeth too often can be a serious problem, but for many people who do it, it might not be obvious at first. Known as bruxism, the constant and subconscious habit of grinding teeth together affects millions of people of all ages, many of whom aren’t aware of it until their dentists officially diagnose it. Fortunately, you can detect and diagnose bruxism sooner by sticking to a regular schedule of preventive exams and cleanings with your dentist. During each visit, a careful inspection of your teeth and oral tissues can reveal any signs or symptoms that you have bruxism, and what treatment may be best to help you strop grinding your teeth.
You won’t always notice it’s happening
Grinding your teeth and having bruxism aren’t always the same thing. Clenching your jaw muscles, and therefore, your teeth, is a natural response to anger, tension, pain, and other stressors. It can also be a nervous habit that only occurs once in a while and doesn’t pose a threat to your healthy tooth structure. However, when you have bruxism, you’ll grind your teeth multiple times throughout the day and, in many cases, more often at night. Because it causes you to grind your teeth without you realizing it, bruxism may be a problem for some time before you notice it on your own.
The damage it causes is irreversible
The problem with bruxism is that the consistent pressure and friction it generates can cause serious damage to your healthy, natural tooth structure. When healthy, your teeth are the most resilient parts of your body. However, they’re no match for each other, and the pressure that your jaws exert (especially if you aren’t consciously moderating it) can be enormous. Together, the intense pressure of grinding your teeth together will cause them to wear down, become weaker, develop fractures, or break. To restore your smile, your dentist will have to customize one or more appropriate restorative treatments to fortify your teeth.
It takes professional treatment to stop
In addition to professionally diagnosing your bruxism with a thorough examination, you also need your dentist to help you treat the condition and stop grinding your teeth. For example, if your teeth haven’t sustained any serious damage, then you might be able to resolve your bruxism with a custom-designed NTI appliance. An NTI, or Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition, appliance allows your jaw muscles and joints to rest comfortably while you sleep at night, reducing or eliminating the stress that commonly causes bruxism.
Learn how to solve your bruxism problem
If you suffer from bruxism, then it could pose a serious problem to your oral health in several different ways. For more information, schedule a visit by calling Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY, today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-6930.