Bruxism, or chronic teeth-grinding, can become a serious problem for your teeth and oral health when it goes untreated long enough. Unfortunately, many people who have bruxism don’t realize that they do at first, and this can sometimes allow the condition to cause significant wear and damage to their teeth by the time they seek treatment for it. The best way to protect your teeth from bruxism is to address it as soon as possible, especially if you’ve already started to notice your teeth wearing down from the grinding.
When teeth-grinding becomes a problem
The difference between a common teeth-grinding habit and a chronic one is the cause behind it. If you grind your teeth occasionally as a nervous tic, or during times when you’re stressed or in pain, then it isn’t a bruxism problem. However, if you grind your teeth consistently, and often subconsciously, then the problem could be caused by more than a simple habit. Bruxism is often the result of an underlying oral health concern, such as a misalignment in your teeth, jaws, or other oral structures. Until the problem is addressed, your teeth may not stop grinding together on their own.
What it means when your teeth wear down
The structures of your teeth and the enamel that protects them are highly resilient. However, under the immense and consistent pressure and friction of constant teeth-grinding, it may not be long before they start to wear down. This may occur mostly along the chewing surfaces of your teeth, where they meet as they grind together. While this may not be visibly obvious at first, you may feel the change as you bite and chew your food, or when your jaw is closed and at rest. The wearing down of your teeth can make them significantly weaker, and the changes to their chewing surfaces can place your jaw’s joints under excessive amounts of pressure.
How to save your teeth and smile from bruxism
Your teeth wearing down may only be the start of the problems that can result from an untreated bruxism problem. As they become worn, your jaw joints may become damaged under the increasing pressure of their imbalance. This can lead to TMJ disorder, which exacerbates your bruxism and can lead to even more tooth damage. If you notice that you grind your teeth a lot, it may be worth mentioning to your dentist during your next visit. The sooner you treat bruxism, the more you can prevent your teeth from being damaged by it.
Stop bruxism from wearing your teeth down
If you have bruxism, then your teeth may start to wear down significantly until your dentist helps you addresses the problem. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling MMC Dental in Houston, TX, today at (713) 926-8896.