Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, is a common sleep disorder. You may notice signs that you suffer from teeth grinding, if you wake up frequently with a headache, sore teeth, or an achy jaw, notice yourself clenching your jaw during the day, or if you have an increased sensitivity to cold or sweet food. Grinding your teeth can be a symptom of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder or as a medical palindrome, bruxism can cause TMJ disorder. Treating bruxism is important to protect your oral health from such risks. Your dentist can outfit you with a custom oral appliance to help prevent your teeth from grinding against one another.
The constant friction between teeth can lead to tiny fractures in the surface of your teeth. These tiny fractures become doors for bacteria to enter get within the tooth, and speed up the process of tooth decay. It is like the tooth decay gets a fast pass to get past your enamel, and right to the inner layers of your tooth. The same fractures that welcome bacteria inside the tooth also leave the surface of the tooth susceptible to breakage. Weak, cracked teeth are vulnerable to more serious tooth fractures. Bruxism can also make a dental prosthetic susceptible to breaking.
The tiny fractures caused by tooth grinding cause your teeth to be sensitive to cold, hot, or sweet foods. The tiny cracks on the surface of the teeth expose the inner areas of the tooth to the elements.
As stated above, TMJ disorder can lead to chronic headaches, pain in the face, jaw, mouth, neck, and shoulders. The over wear on your jaw can lead to jaw popping and lockjaw, which is when your jaw locks into place. Lockjaw is quite painful, and you may require help to move it again.
Grinding your teeth can cause problems for your oral health. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Carmona at Austin Prosthodontics in Austin, TX, call 512-250-9444. We also proudly welcome patients from Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Leander, and all surrounding Texas communities.