Teeth clenching and grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common problem. It’s something you might have experienced from time to time. It generally happens during periods of stress or anxiety and may occur during the day or even while you sleep. If clenching or grinding goes away after the stressful time has passed, it’s most likely not a big concern. However, bruxism can be a symptom of larger problems that can cause serious issues with your smile. Our orthodontic office in Durham, NC, provides some information below.
Causes of Bruxism
Bruxism can have multiple causes. Chronic stress and anxiety are likely to cause bruxism. In addition to this, bruxism can also be caused by a misaligned bite, as your jaw is overworked trying to get your teeth to fit together. If you are prone to this condition, triggers such as alcohol consumption, chewing gum, or caffeine may worsen the grinding.
Negative Effects of Bruxism
If left untreated, bruxism will wear away your tooth enamel, leaving your teeth exposed to bacteria. Bruxism can also cause broken teeth, increase the need for root canals and crowns, and worsen symptoms of TMJ disorder. If you experience any of the following for an extended period of time, you should contact our orthodontist for an evaluation:
- Soreness in the jaw
- Popping in the jaw
- Achiness in the face
- Cracked teeth
- Grinding during the night, sometimes noticed by a partner
- Wear on teeth from grinding
- Tooth sensitivity
Treatments for Bruxism
If your bruxism is caused by a misaligned bite, our orthodontist will work to correct it with braces or other methods to align your teeth. For anxiety and stress, trying to gain control of the stressors is critical. If you mainly grind your teeth at night, our orthodontist may also recommend a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
Contact Our Orthodontic Office in Durham, NC, Today To Find Out More!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about retainers and other topics related to orthodontic treatment, feel free to contact Wilson Orthodontics, with a convenient orthodontic office in Durham, NC, by clicking here or by calling 919.371.0384.