Grinding and clenching your teeth (commonly known as bruxism) might seem harmless, but the long-term effects on your oral health can be significant. In this article, we’ll explore how bruxism can lead to tooth wear, enamel damage, jaw discomfort, and the potential development of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. We’ll also discuss preventive strategies and treatment options to protect your smile.

Tooth Wear & Enamel Damage

Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, can cause noticeable tooth wear. The constant pressure on your teeth can lead to erosion and flattening of the chewing surfaces, resulting in shorter and more sensitive teeth. Additionally, the enamel may become compromised, increasing the risk of cavities and other dental problems.

Jaw Discomfort

Chronic grinding and clenching often results in persistent jaw pain. This discomfort may extend to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), causing issues such as clicking sounds and difficulty opening and closing the mouth. Recognising these symptoms early is crucial for taking proactive steps to address the problem.

TMJ Issues

The TMJ is a delicate structure that can be affected by the forces of bruxism. TMJ disorders not only impact oral health but also interfere with everyday activities like eating and speaking. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage symptoms and prevent further complications.

Preventive Measures

Awareness of bruxism triggers, such as stress or sleep disturbances, is key to prevention. Lifestyle changes like stress management techniques and maintaining a consistent sleep routine can help alleviate the condition. Dentist-prescribed custom fit night guards or splints can also protect your teeth and minimise TMJ strain.

Treatment Options

If you’re already experiencing the effects of bruxism, various treatment options are available. Dental procedures such as crowns and veneers can repair tooth damage, while exercises may help alleviate TMJ-related symptoms. Additionally, the use of a custom fit mouthguard can help ease TMJ pain. Addressing underlying issues like sleep apnoea may also be necessary for comprehensive treatment.

Contact Essential Dental Today

From tooth wear to jaw discomfort, bruxism can have serious consequences for your oral health. However, with proactive measures and timely intervention, you can preserve your smile. Contact the friendly team at Essential Dental Golden Grove today on (08) 8251 7677  to make an appointment so you can ‘discover the difference’.