If you grind your teeth, you may not even be aware that you are doing it. Many people grind their teeth at night, leaving them none the wiser about their teeth grinding habits. However, evidence does exist. It’s inscribed on the teeth, its effects felt in toothaches or a sore jaw. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can lead to many oral problems as well as problems beyond the scope of the mouth. Here to discuss bruxism, toothaches, and beyond is your West Des Moines Dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson.
The Effects of Teeth Grinding
Bruxism places severe forces and strain on the teeth. These forces go beyond those felt during chewing because food is not in the position to accept some of the force. Instead, all of the force lands directly on the teeth. Bruxism can lead to the wearing away of tooth enamel as well as cracked, chipped, and broken teeth. As enamel wears away, teeth may appear yellow as dentin, the yellower layer beneath enamel, is exposed. Also, with enamel missing, the teeth are more vulnerable to stimuli and more prone to toothaches. If bruxism continues, the teeth may wear down further until they experience serious structural damage like cracking or chipping.
Bruxism can also put strain on the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, sometimes causing a disorder. A TMJ disorder occurs when the delicate balance of the TMJ joint, the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull, is disturbed. TMJ disorders can lead to migraines, earaches, and a locked jaw.
A couple of treatments can effectively treat bruxism. Sleep guards are effective because they protect teeth from further wear and reposition the jaw to relieve strain on the TMJ. Stress management therapy can also aid in preventing bruxism. If teeth grinding is brought on by stress, alleviating that stress can stop it.
Schedule an Appointment with Your West Des Moines Dentist
Do you wake up with a sore jaw? Do you have frequent toothaches? Schedule an appointment to visit your West Des Moines dentist, Dr. Johnson, today by calling 515-223-9764. Our 50266 dentist office welcomes patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, and nearby Des Moines metro communities.