Bruxism is the habitual grinding of your teeth against each other. It can be caused by a misalignment of your smile or stress; it usually occurs unconsciously while you are sleeping. It may seem like an innocuous problem, but it can actually cause quite a bit of damage to your smile. Over time, the friction caused by the grinding can create tiny cracks and fissures in the surfaces of your teeth. These cracks can become gateways to bacterial attacks to cause tooth decay. The cracks can also grow larger over time leaving your teeth vulnerable to severe breakage and sensitivity. Bruxism can also cause headaches and strain on your jaw joints. If you are Lafayette, LA, and think you may be grinding your teeth, it is important to speak to your dentist about it soon to stop the problem and address the damage.
Stop the Problem First
If a pipe in your house has sprung a leak, you stop the leak before you repair the water damage, right? The same will be true with addressing bruxism-caused damage to your smile. Your dentist can create a customized oral appliance to both protect your teeth from each other and give the joints of your jaw a rest. Ultimately, if misalignment is the cause of your habitual teeth grinding, it may need to be addressed. However, the oral appliance can be worn while you sleep to stop the damage from continuing to happen every night. Sleeping with the appliance can allow you to get better sleep, wake up without headaches or jaw pain, and protect your teeth from ongoing damage.
Repairing Tooth Damage
Once the bruxism has been addressed, the lasting effects can be repaired. The treatments will depend on the severity of the damage. For severe cracks, a root canal treatment followed by a crown may be needed to restore a tooth. For small, surface damage, cosmetic bonding may be enough to protect the teeth from decay, sensitivity, and further damage.
Do you grind your teeth?
Grinding your teeth, bruxism, can cause damage to your smile. To schedule a consultation, contact us at our Lafayette, LA, dentist’s office at 337-237-6453. We proudly serve patients from Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Scott, Youngsville, and surrounding communities.