Don’t Let Dental Grinding Destroy Your Smile

Written by Dr. McConnell on Jun 21, 2022

When most people think about oral health problems, they think about dental cavities and broken teeth. Undoubtedly these are serious oral health issues, but there are other, less visible problems that can wreak havoc on your smile over time.

One of these conditions is called bruxism. Bruxism refers to chronic grinding and clenching of the teeth. This can happen episodically, say, during times of great stress, or chronically. Bruxism can also occur during the day or when the patient is asleep at night.

When left untreated, bruxism can create a domino effect of oral health issues. That is why our Novato dentists encourage our patients to seek treatment for bruxism as soon as they notice symptoms. Keep reading to get a better idea of what you might experience with bruxism.

If you are dealing with a jaw that is often sore or other head and neck pain, this may be associated with bruxism. As you would imagine, grinding and clenching can strain a patient’s head/face/neck muscles, and lead to damage. This is also why bruxism is often connected to TMJ disorder.

Patients with bruxism sometimes develop small cracks or chips in their teeth, due to the immense pressure created when the top and bottom teeth come together. Prompt treatment of bruxism can help you protect your teeth and maintain strong enamel.

Bruxism can also cause you to alter your bite; your teeth may even start to shift on their own. If you notice any changes to your bite alignment, please talk to your dentists about potential causes and treatment options. This can be a sign of serious oral health issues.

The good news is that there are effective, affordable, and comfortable treatment options available for bruxism. Please contact our Novato dentists to learn more—we’re just a phone call away! Or, use our Contact Us form to get started!