How Teeth Grinding and Clenching Can Impact Your Smile

During your dental checkup, your dentist may see signs that you grind or clench your teeth, a common condition called Bruxism. You may realize that you’ve been clenching your teeth a lot lately, perhaps due to stress. Or maybe you grind your teeth while sleeping. These two things may seem insignificant at first, but they actually can have a notable impact on your smile in the long run.

Bruxism and your Teeth

Your teeth can take quite a bit of pressure to chew and grind your food. However, if you regularly clench or grind your teeth outside of eating, they can begin to be affected in distinct ways. The protective film of enamel can wear down, showing the layer of dentin beneath. Not only is this layer yellow, making your teeth look dull, but it also contains tubules that join to the nerves of the tooth. As a result, you may experience tooth sensitivity. Or worse, your tooth could eventually become so weak that it cracks or breaks.

Dental restorations, such as fillings and crowns, can also be susceptible to damage from Bruxism. To protect your teeth and restorations from additional wear, you need to treat grinding or clenching.

How Bruxism affects the Jaw and Head

Clenching and grinding affect more than just teeth. If you do this while you sleep, you can experience headaches, jaw pain, and other ill effects – particularly in the morning. That’s because these actions put a lot of pressure on the jaw joint, called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Bruxism can also cause the jaw joint to become misaligned, and when the TMJ is not aligned correctly, it can affect your ability to use your jaw in normal functions and impact your quality of life.

JJS Dentistry can help

Fortunately, TMJ Therapy can help. To address Bruxism, your JJS Dentistry can provide a custom-made oral device that you can wear at night. The device keeps your top and bottom teeth from hitting each other and causing additional damage. It can also help to re-establish the proper alignment for your jaw, relieving the source of your TMJ pain.

In the end, to protect your oral and overall health, it is worth the time and effort to have your Bruxism treated. JJS Dentistry can offer a solution that can spare your teeth and jaw from excessive pressure, allowing you to focus on other meaningful things in life. For more information about bruxism or TMJ disorders, contact us today.

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