Maintaining a healthy smile requires protecting your teeth at all times of day including when you are asleep. A regular oral hygiene routine before bed can remove the remnants of food that help contribute to tooth decay, but how do you protect your enamel if you clench and grind your teeth while you are unconscious? Also known as bruxism, this behavior can increase your risk for dental cavities as years of wear and tear erode the surface of your teeth. Cracks and chips may begin to appear that leave an unsightly appearance. When left untreated, bruxism can cause dental misalignment or even lead to a problem with the temporomandibular joint called TMJ disorder. This may affect your ability to comfortably open and close your mouth without pain.
Fortunately, your Ankeny, IA dentist can detect the signs of bruxism and offer useful treatments for preventing future wear and tear. Additionally, we can suggest treatments to restore dental function lost to grinding and clenching or provide cosmetic treatment to enhance the look of your smile.
How Damage To The Enamel Affects Your Appearance
The breakdown of your teeth’s enamel generally happens slowly over decades as it becomes thinner, but an appropriate amount is expected in older people. When your enamel erodes more quickly than expected, it can give you the look of advanced age. This is one reason why it is so important to practice a daily oral hygiene routine that prevents the buildup of plaque and tartar deposits that help wear away at your teeth. The habit of continually grinding your teeth also wears down on the enamel, affecting your appearance and making you susceptible to tooth decay. Regularly attending checkups and cleanings allows your dentist to detect harm to your enamel and discover its cause. We can provide guidance on preventing future wear and tear and offer procedures to treat existing damage.
Wearing An Oral Guard For Teeth Clenching
If the cause of the wear and tear to your enamel is chronic grinding of your teeth, we can recommend a custom appliance to protect your bite while you are asleep. Made from a BPA-free material, an oral guard reduces friction by separating each row of teeth from touching one another. This device can also relieve muscle aches and pains in your jaw by relieving the tension of constantly biting down. This makes an oral guard a treatment for protecting against both physical wear and tear and improving your quality of sleep.
Repairing Your Smile After Bruxism
Once we have addressed ongoing grinding of your teeth, we can discuss cosmetic or restorative treatments for existing damage. The placement of porcelain veneers offers a versatile solution for treating multiple esthetic concerns all at once. Made from a thin shell of porcelain that is bonded directly to the front of your tooth, a veneer can hide chips and cracks from bruxism and improve the height of a structure that has worn down. We also provide tooth bonding services that can build up worn teeth.
Speak With Your Ankeny, IA Dentist About Treating The Damage Of Grinding Your Teeth
Identifying and treating bruxism can put an end to a painful process that leaves your teeth worse for wear while diminishing the quality of your sleep. We also offer cosmetic and restorative procedures to enhance your smile. For more information and to schedule a visit, contact our Ankeny, IA dentist’s office at 515-207-6182. We proudly serve patients from Alleman, Elkhart, Bondurant, and any other surrounding community as well!