The Dangers of Grinding Your Teeth

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Oftentimes, waking up with a sore or aching jaw every once in a while, is not something to fret over. Perhaps an individual slept wrong or is experiencing strain from talking in their sleep. In most circumstances, however, this can be indicative of a bigger concern such as grinding your teeth while you sleep, causing wear and increasing chances for infection or tooth loss. In today’s blog, your Prairie Village, KS prosthodontist will address the possible dangers you may face when chronic grinding goes unchecked, and how our team can help.

Worn Surfaces

When you experience teeth-grinding, what is occurring is an unconscious or uncontrollable rubbing of the teeth with the lower mandible moving from side-to-side. During this, you clench or bite down with significant pressure, causing the surface of each tooth to wear down or erode over time. What’s more, this can invite infection or damage at an increased rate as well as cause you pain and damage. Bear in mind that unlike children’s teeth, adult teeth are permanent and will not grow back if you lose one or multiple. In other words, once they are gone, you will not grow natural replacements, warranting a need for dental implants in order to restore the health and function of your smile. For more information about the dangers of excessive teeth wear, contact our office today.

Developing Jaw Dysfunction

One of the biggest concerns that arises from bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, is the development of a bite dysfunction that causes misalignment between your jaw and joints. The temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s) are the two main joints in which your lower jaw hinges, contributing significantly to your bite function. When you constantly grind your teeth, you are putting your bite at risk for misalignment due to TMJ disorder. If left untreated, this can result in damage or even tearing of tissues and joints, requiring significant reconstructive surgery to address. Individuals who experience TMJ disorder often have symptoms that include a popping or clicking in the jaw, difficulties opening the mouth as well as biting and chewing, and even moderate to severe pain. On top of these, your mouth will feel tense and clenched. If you feel as though any of these symptoms apply to you, make sure to contact your dentist.

What You Can Do

While a great deal of damage can incur from Bruxism and TMJ disorder, your dentist may be able to help you address the concern with specialized splint therapy to guide your lower jaw back into the proper joints. We may also create a custom dental appliance that can protect your teeth from damage incurred through grinding the teeth.

Contact Our Office

Don’t let your sore jaw go without treatment, as waiting can often cause even more damage. Contact Dr. Stuart Dexter, Prosthodontist in Prairie Village, KS by calling 913-362-8200 today.