Bruxism? Should I Be Worried?

If you have never heard the word, “bruxism,” before, it may not mean much to you at all. If you have been told that you may be experiencing bruxism, you might start to worry. Bruxism is the habitual clenching of the jaw and grinding of teeth. It can be caused by stress, misalignment of the bite, missing teeth, or a sleep disorder. If you notice yourself waking up with a sore jaw or headaches, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep. You may also notice that you unconsciously clench your jaw throughout the day, which can be another sign that bruxism is effecting your life. Bruxism can have negative effects on your smile, but there are ways to protect your oral health. Talk to you dental team in Olathe, KS if you think it may be affecting you. 

Negative Effects on Your Teeth

Enamel, the protective outer layer of your teeth, is a very hard substance. The good news is that it can endure quite a bit because it was designed for biting and chewing. The bad news, when it comes to bruxism, is that the hardness of enamel can be a problem when teeth are grinding against one another. Over time, the nightly (and daily) grinding can wear down the surfaces of your teeth and cause microscopic cracks. These cracks can be small enough that you might not be able to see them, but large enough for bacteria to penetrate, which can put your teeth at risk for tooth decay. The cracks can also leave your teeth vulnerable to sensitivity and breakage.

The Wear on Your Jaw

Along with the effects on your teeth, the clenching and grinding can put a lot of strain on the joints of your jaw. This undue stress and strain can put you at a risk of TMJ disorder, which is a painful malfunction of your jaw joints.

Is bruxism affecting your smile?

The grinding and clenching of bruxism can be a problem for your smile. To schedule a consultation, call E-Care Dentistry, PA in Olathe, KS, today at 913-764-1018. We also proudly serve patients from Overland Park, Lenexa, Leawood, Gardner, and all surrounding communities.