Seeking Protection From Chronic Teeth Grinding
When a person experiences bruxism, he or she is enduring chronic teeth grinding. Bruxism can occur when a person is conscious or unconscious – such as when they sleep – and for patients who have it, it can eventually become one of the biggest threats to their oral health. That doesn’t mean all hope is lost for your smile, however. If you attend your routine checkup and cleaning appointments regularly, then Dr. Foust can spot the signs of bruxism. She can then recommend the best treatment option for your needs, whether that is a custom-designed oral appliance to help protect your teeth, or restorative treatment to repair any existing tooth damage.
Bruxism Signs And Symptoms
It can be difficult to identify teeth-grinding if it only occurs when you slumber, but there are a few telltale signs that you can be on the lookout for, to better inform your treatment. You should consider speaking with us about the possibility of bruxism if you grind your teeth or if you suspect you grind your teeth at night. You can improve your chances of catching it early and preventing extensive tooth damage by looking out for these common signs:
- An increase in tooth sensitivity or discomfort
- Sore facial and jaw muscles
- An uneven bite due to tooth wear
- Difficulty biting and chewing
- And more
Obstructive Sleep Apnea and TMJ Disorder
Bruxism may be a side effect of a different sleep concern known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is a sleep disorder that occurs when the throat muscles become too relaxed or oral tissues block the airway, causing you to stop breathing periodically while asleep. Unconscious clenching and teeth grinding may occur in order to help tighten the throat muscles, thus alleviating the blockage. If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, a custom sleep apnea appliance can be helpful in keeping your airway open and clear while you sleep.
If bruxism continues unmanaged, however, you experience a greater probability of developing a jaw dysfunction known as TMJ Disorder. This phenomenon occurs when your jawbone becomes misaligned with one of your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) at which it hinges to the cranium. Fortunately, with the help of a custom oral appliance, we can help alleviate these symptoms.
Schedule Your Bruxism Treatment Today
Bruxism treatment can help you stop grinding your teeth and avoid the serious oral health complications that could arise from it. For more information about your bruxism treatment options, schedule an appointment with our team by calling Dental Impressions in Ankeny, IA at (515) 965-0230 today.