By now you are likely aware of the various ways bacteria and other microscopic oral health concerns impact your overall oral health. From early decay in the form of a cavity to major infections that lead to the loss of a tooth, there is a significant array of phenomena that can afflict your smile and have damaging results. As such, we strongly encourage our patients to schedule an appointment as soon as they notice any discomfort, pain, or other major issue. In today’s blog, your Houston, TX dentist takes a look at the nontraditional dental issue of bruxism, and how leaving this issue untreated can result in significant damage.
What is Chronic Teeth Grinding?
You may be familiar with the concept of teeth grinding and that it is not a good thing for your oral health. But do you understand why? You see, the motion of tightly clenching the teeth together and then proceeding to move the lower jaw from side to side generates friction, which can cause your teeth to rub down. Not only can this be problematic for your structural health, but it can lead to permanent enamel erosion and a lack of protection.
Another major issue that arises from teeth grinding is that it makes your smile more susceptible to infection and damage. Because the protective layer of enamel has been worn away, bacteria can more easily cause infection to spread. Further, the constant stress placed on your oral structures makes them more brittle and easier to break.
The biggest threat that arises from unchecked bruxism, also known as chronic teeth grinding, is that of a dangerous jaw dysfunction known as TMJ Disorder. To learn more about this process and what your options are, give our team a call today.
TMJ disorder is a dangerous jaw dysfunction characterized by the lower jaw becoming misaligned with one or both of the two temporomandibular joints (TMJs) at which it hinges to the cranium. As a result, those with the disorder will experience a noticeable popping or clicking sensation.
In addition to popping, you will experience difficulty opening the mouth fully, which can also lead to tissue damage, significant pain or discomfort, and trouble performing routine tasks such as biting, chewing, and eating. Give our office a call to learn more about this process.
Understanding Your Options
With the help of a bruxism appliance, you can protect your structures and promote a healthier smile. You see, a custom appliance such as a mouthguard built to your measurements can be very helpful in providing the protection necessary from unconscious teeth grinding.
Learn More Today
Contact Sue Ellen Richardson, DDS in Houston, TX by calling 713-796-9600 to schedule your next appointment with our team, and learn more about the ways you can protect your smile today.