Could You Have Bruxism and Not Know It?

Bruxism, or the constant grinding of your teeth, can sometimes be a more complex concern to deal with than issues like tooth decay or gum disease. For example, it can be caused by a variety of factors, and therefore, treatment might be different for every patient who has it. In addition, bruxism isn’t always obvious to the person who experiences it. Teeth-grinding is a natural reaction to several different stimuli, like stress and anger. Just because you do it once in a while doesn’t mean you need bruxism treatment. Fortunately, you can be sure by visiting your dentist for an examination, especially if you start to exhibit other related symptoms of bruxism.

What does having bruxism mean?

Teeth-grinding to the point of bruxism is problematic to your oral health for several different reasons. The condition involves frequently grinding your teeth unconsciously, when you’re unable to control your bite pressure. This means your teeth are being forced against each other with the full (or near full) force of your bite, which generates an immense amount of pressure. For many people, bruxism is mainly a nighttime condition and the grinding occurs most often while they sleep at night. Whether it’s during the day or night, however, the consistent pressure and friction generated by bruxism can lead to severe tooth wear, damage, and more.

Signs that you should seek treatment

Catching yourself grinding your teeth more often than usual may be one hint that you have bruxism, but it isn’t the only sign you need to be aware of. For example, the more your teeth-grinding continues, the more you may experience the following:

  • Your teeth surfaces wearing down
  • Your teeth becoming sensitive and painful
  • Your bite not closing the way it used to
  • Your jaw muscles becoming tired and sore
  • And more

How your dentist treats bruxism

Once you know that your teeth-grinding and other symptoms are signs of bruxism, it’s important to treat the condition as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to your teeth and oral structures. Treating bruxism may depend on its specific cause. For example, if it’s a consequence of crooked teeth, then you might need to straighten them with orthodontic treatment. For many patients, however, the condition can be addressed comfortably and conveniently with a custom-designed oral appliance. The guard can fit snugly over your upper and lower teeth to prevent them from grinding against each other while you sleep, and is small and comfortable enough to allow you to sleep peacefully.

Find out if you have bruxism

Your bruxism might not be obvious to you at first, but if you stick to visiting your dentist on a regular basis, you’ll have a good chance at detecting it early. For more information, schedule a consultation by calling Dental Impressions in Ankeny, IA immediately at (515) 965-0230. We also proudly serve patients who live in Alleman, Elkhart, Bondurant, and all surrounding communities.