These days, you have a treatment option for any condition that could affect your oral health. The thing about excessive teeth-grinding, though, is that not everyone who experiences it realizes that it’s a problem. Bruxism, the clinical name for chronic teeth-grinding, isn’t always obvious. While you may catch yourself grinding your teeth throughout the day once in a while, many patients who experience bruxism will grind their teeth most often at night. At our Lafayette, LA, dental office, we can help you determine if you do suffer from bruxism and how best to treat your teeth-grinding problem.
When It’s a Serious Concern
Occasional teeth-grinding isn’t the same as bruxism. For example, if you stub your toe or have a headache, you might clench your teeth in response to the pain. It’s only considered a serious concern when you grind your teeth so often that you don’t even realize it, or know why it keeps happening. Bruxism is more than just a nervous reaction. It’s most often a symptom of an underlying issue that will only grow worse the longer it’s ignored. For instance, some people grind their teeth because their teeth are crooked and their jaws have trouble getting comfortable.
Why Ignoring It Isn’t a Good Idea
When you constantly grind your teeth together, the pressure and friction can wear them down the point where they’re structurally weaker and more susceptible to serious damage. This alone makes ignoring the condition dangerous for your overall oral health. However, it’s even more of a danger because the cause of your bruxism will also grow worse. If the cause is crooked teeth, lack of treatment can cause them to become even more misaligned, exacerbating your bruxism. If you have a jaw dysfunction (TMJ disorder), allowing it to remain untreated can lead to diminishing bite function as well as increased risks of tooth damage.
Finding the Treatment that Suits You Best
For many patients who experience bruxism, the condition can be addressed with a custom-designed oral appliance, or guard. Similar to a mouthguard, but much smaller and more comfortable, a bruxism appliance protects your teeth from grinding together at night. It’s custom design and comfort not only protect your teeth, but also help ensure that you can sleep peacefully throughout the night. Depending on the exact cause of your bruxism, an appliance may be combined with one or more other appropriate treatments for optimal results.
Learn how to treat teeth-grinding
If you grind your teeth too much (a condition known as bruxism), finding the right treatment to help you stop could be vital to your smile and long-term oral health. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling the office of Michael J. Young, DDS, in Lafayette, LA, at 337-237-6453. We proudly serve patients who live in Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Scott, Youngsville, and all surrounding communities.