You might not always pay close attention to just how often you use your teeth. It’s probably been years since you’ve counted your bites, if ever, and that doesn’t even account for the subconscious things your teeth can go through. For example, if you have bruxism, then food isn’t the only thing your teeth constantly grind against. They also grind against each other, and the results can be disastrous for your smile and oral health if you don’t address the condition promptly.
What bruxism does to your teeth
Bruxism is the constant clenching and grinding of your teeth together, and it occurs much more frequently than you’ll realize. Depending on your specific condition, one or more underlying factors will cause you to subconsciously force your teeth against each other, often with the full force of your bite. This constant friction against your teeth can cause them to wear down significantly and quickly, leading to a wide range of other problems with the health and integrity of your teeth, as well as the rest of your oral health.
How to tell if you have bruxism
Because you won’t always (or even often) notice the grinding that marks bruxism, you might not realize that you do it often enough for it to be considered a problem. Unfortunately, this can increase your risks of experiencing significant tooth wear and damage by the time you do seek treatment for your bruxism. Fortunately, it may not have to get so severe. If you stick to a regular schedule of checkup and cleaning appointments with your dentist, then your routine exam may reveal the early signs of bruxism and tooth wear, so you can seek treatment to stop and protect your teeth much sooner.
How your dentist can help you save your teeth
If your dentist does notice signs of bruxism during your exam, or if you notice that your teeth are starting to show signs of wearing down, then the good news is that there is often a solution to help you stop. For example, many patients with bruxism can protect their teeth from grinding together at night with the help of a custom-designed oral appliance. Also known as a nightguard, the appliance can be worn comfortably so it doesn’t interrupt your sleep, but is firm enough to protect your teeth from the pressure and friction of bruxism.
Stop bruxism with a custom-made appliance
As strong as your teeth are, something like bruxism can consistently wear them down and damage them if you don’t treat it. To learn more, schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith and our team by calling Pecan Tree Dental in Grand Prairie, TX, today at (972) 262-5111.