The act of grinding your teeth doesn’t seem like a big deal, especially if it doesn’t make your teeth hurt in the moment. This is one reason why people who have bruxism (or chronic teeth-grinding) don’t always recognize it as a problem, or are surprised when it leads to even more substantial oral health concerns. Today, we take a look at a few things that chronic teeth-grinding can impact, and why addressing the problem early is important to your oral health.
The chewing surfaces of your teeth
When you grind your upper and lower teeth together, they take the brunt of your bite’s pressure across their chewing surfaces. When you grind your teeth against each other forcefully, the friction can wear down the surfaces of your teeth to a degree that changes how your bite feels when you close it. On one hand, this excessive wear makes your teeth structurally weaker, which means they’re more likely to break or fracture before long. On the other hand, it can also disrupt the proper balance of your bite and lead to problems associated with your jaw joints (TMJs).
The function of your jaw joints
While your teeth may take the brunt of the pressure when you constantly grind them together, your jaw joints and muscles are the structures that generate that pressure. When they’re forced to do so continuously, your TMJs can become damaged under the weight of it. The development of TMJ disorder is often tied closely to a chronic teeth-grinding problem, and the dysfunction in your jaw joints can make your bruxism problem even worse. Because of this, treating TMJ disorder is often a part of treating bruxism, and vice versa.
The overall alignment of your bite
The many different impacts of chronic teeth-grinding don’t always occur on their own. In fact, many patients don’t recognize their teeth-grinding habit as a problem until they develop more than one of these symptoms together. Therefore, they may also develop other potentially serious oral health concerns, such as changes to the alignment of their teeth, that can further disrupt their bite’s balance. The force of grinding your teeth together combined with the presence of one or more other complications can force your teeth out of proper alignment and lead to a wealth of subsequent problems for your teeth and oral health.
Lower the impact of chronic teeth-grinding
Chronic teeth-grinding can have several negative impacts on your oral health, but you can mitigate those impacts by seeking personalized treatment for it as early as possible. To learn more, schedule a consultation with us by calling the office of Dr. Stuart Dexter in Prairie Village, KS, today at 913-362-8200.