We've all heard of cavities and tooth decay wreaking havoc on our teeth, but a more subtle oral health ailment that is cause for concern is called bruxism. Your local South Orange, NJ, dental expert, Dr. Fariba Farrokhi at South Orange Family Dentistry, knows how bruxism and other TMD disorders can affect your oral health.
What is Bruxism?
Also known as teeth grinding, bruxism affects many Americans. You see it occurring more often in times of stress or while we sleep. Consistent teeth grinding can cause the enamel to wear down, cause improper bite patterns, and leave your teeth more vulnerable to decay.
What Causes Bruxism?
Bruxism plays a role in TMD disorders (temporomandibular disorders). TMD disorders affect the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and facial nerves.
Causes of bruxism include:
- Medication reaction
It is a huge coping mechanism in times of high anxiety, and we may not be aware that we are doing it most of the time.
What Are the Symptoms of Bruxism?
With bruxism, individuals can experience many kinds of symptoms that include:
- Ear pain
- Face pain
- Jaw issues
- Bad bite
- Tooth enamel loss
- Jaw Pain
- Tooth and gum pain
Bruxism Effects on Tooth Enamel
The repetitive grinding or clenching of your teeth can cause significant issues when left untreated. Untreated bruxism slowly removes the enamel of your teeth, causing wear and tear, chipping, and cracking. Once that enamel has been worn down, you are at a higher risk for tooth decay. The wear and tear may be so severe that you will require tooth restoration with crown placement.
How Do You Treat Bruxism?
Dr. Farrokhi, of South Orange, NJ, is an expert in TMD disorders and can offer a unique treatment plan for you and your bruxism. Unfortunately, the root cause of bruxism is varied, so it is hard to locate an exact origin.
If you are particularly stressed or anxious, you want to focus on stress management, especially right before bed. Great ways to do so include stretching, yoga, or a relaxing shower. A hot bath is also a great way to relax and ease your mind before bedtime.
If the bruxism goes beyond just acute stress management, your dentist may recommend a nightguard to protect your teeth and mouth. A night guard can help ease the pain of tooth grinding while protecting tooth enamel from being worn away.
If you suspect that you suffer from bruxism, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist today to begin the monitoring and assessment process. Call your local TMD expert at South Orange Family Dentistry in South Orange, NJ, by calling Dr. Farrokhi at (973) 763-1161.