What Having Bruxism Really Means

When you grind your teeth every once in a while, there isn’t really much reason to worry about it. When healthy, your teeth can withstand an enormous amount of pressure without any harm being done to their enamel (protective outer layer). However, grinding your teeth constantly and consistently, especially when you don’t even realize it, can overwhelm even the healthiest and strongest of your teeth. At our Cleveland, TX, dental office, we can help you spot the signs of bruxism during your routine exam and cleaning appointment, and explain what the condition can mean for your smile. Then, we’ll work with you to devise the best treatment plan to help you stop grinding your teeth.

You can’t control your teeth-grinding

Bruxism involves involuntary action – specifically, the unconscious and uncontrolled grinding of your teeth. Unlike occasional teeth-grinding, it can often be caused by a potentially serious underlying oral health concern. For example, if your teeth are crooked, then your jaw may have trouble resting comfortably. It might spasm and force your teeth against each other, or simply cause you to grind your teeth as it shifts and tries to find a comfortable resting position. You may also grind your teeth incessantly while you sleep at night, when you can’t consciously stop yourself.

You’re wearing your teeth down

The highly mineralized and incredibly resilient enamel that protects your teeth isn’t indestructible. When exposed to the pressures of grinding, it can quickly wear down and become damaged, exposing your teeth to more serious forms of damage, or infection by harmful oral bacteria. The more you grind them together, the more severe the wear and damage become. If you don’t seek treatment in time, then you may require one or more restorative treatments to repair the damage by the time you visit your dentist’s office.

Your jaw can’t take the stress

Bruxism won’t stop on its own, and the longer you wait to treat it, the more serious it can become. Besides the potential damage to your teeth, the force generated every time they grind together can also damage your jaw’s joints. Known as the temporomandibular (TMJ) joints, they control your jaw’s movement and can become exhausted, overstressed, and damaged from constant pressure. The resulting discomfort, known as TMJ disorder, can often be debilitating.

Learn how to deal with bruxism

Bruxism could become a serious threat to your smile, but by seeking treatment as soon as possible, you can significantly lower that threat. To learn more, call our Cleveland Family Dentistry office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234. We proudly serve patients and their families from Cleveland, Kingwood, New Caney, Conroe, Livingston, Huffman, and all surrounding communities.