Developing a habit can be either be a conscious choice or something that develops without you really realizing it. For instance, nervous habits like drumming your fingers on the desk or shaking your foot while you are sitting may happen without you putting much thought into it. While some habits that you have may be harmless (except to those who may be annoyed by the sound of desk drumming), there are some habits that can cause negative effects on your health. Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is a common habit that when left untreated can prove detrimental to your dental health. Let’s dive into the effects of bruxism and how you can protect your smile from the potentially destructive habit.

Dangers to Your Smile

Your teeth are the strongest and most-utilized part of your body. Because of that, they are designed to withstand an incredible amount of pressure. However, your teeth are not meant to remain intact against constant and consistent grinding against each other that can happen with bruxism. Constant grinding of the teeth while you are asleep can create fractures in the surfaces of your teeth. These fractures can eventually lead to severely cracked, fractured, or broken teeth. These same fractures can also become hiding places for bacteria, which can give the germs an early lead on causing tooth decay. The repeated friction and tension caused by bruxism can also contribute to damage of the joints in your jaw, known as your temporomandibular joints. If grinding your teeth continues to go ignored, it can cause temporomandibular joint disorder, known as TMJ disorder.

Addressing Bruxism

Typically, bruxism patients grind their teeth during sleep, which makes it difficult to a stop to the habit that happens unconsciously. To stop the nighttime grinding of teeth, you can wear a custom-designed sleep guard as a guard to protect your teeth from each other. In some cases, the bruxism may be caused by a dysfunction in the jaw or by a misalignment of the teeth. If there is an underlying cause of bruxism, it may need to be treated to break the habit.

Bruxism should not be ignored

Talk to Dr. Jones or Dr. Harris if you think you are grinding your teeth. To schedule a consultation with  Mansfield Dental Associates in Mansfield, TX, call 817-473-6227. We proudly welcome patients from Mansfield, TX and the surrounding areas, including South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and more.