Prevention and Protection
The two “p’s”
An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure
Bruxism: what is it and why does it matter?
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is very common. Many people gnash, grind or clench at night while some people suffer from “awake bruxism” or grinding their teeth during the day. Grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, but it can also be the result of a sleep disorder, such as Sleep Apnea, a misaligned bite or missing or crooked teeth.
Why is it so bad?
Teeth aren’t built to withstand constant force, grinding or abrasion. Chewing typically exerts 20 to 40 pounds on the teeth, but the pressure from clenching or grinding can put 400-600 pounds per square inch of pressure on the teeth.
Common Consequences Resulting From Untreated Teeth Grinding
Jaw soreness or headaches: Jaw muscles tighten when teeth are clenched or ground. The pain from the overly strained jaw travels to other places in the head resulting in headaches.
Premature loss of enamel: The constant stress of grinding and clenching degrades and wears down the enamel, causing the teeth to get shorter and shorter. The loss of enamel also makes the teeth more susceptible to sensitivity and tooth decay/cavities.
Fractured teeth: The amount of pressure placed on teeth during clenching or grinding is significant and teeth weren’t designed to withstand this constant amount of force. The tooth can succumb to the pressure resulting in a cracked or fractured tooth.
Gum recession: Grinding can exert an immense amount of force on a tooth surface- 400-600 pounds of force per square inch of the tooth. This pressure can push the gums away from the teeth resulting in irreversible gum recession. Bacteria can settle into the recessed areas causing decay, bone and tooth loss. Gum recession can also lead to tooth sensitivity.
Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ: Grinding teeth also puts a lot of pressure on the temporomandibular joint which are the two joints connecting your jaws. This can result in pain, headaches, difficulty chewing or a popping noise when the jaw is opened.
Treatment For Teeth Grinding in Truckee, CA
To explore your treatment options for bruxism in Truckee, CA, visit the dental practice of Dr. Baldwin. To schedule your appointment, call (530) 206-0392 or request an appointment online.