Our Novato Dentists Offer Treatment Options For Chronic Dental Grinding

Written by Dr. McConnell on Sep 28, 2021

Many people already know that things like sweet treats and chewing hard candies can damage your teeth over time. However, not all oral health threats are outside, environmental factors. Sometimes, dental damage occurs due to chronic, largely subconscious habits, like bruxism.

Today, our Novato dentists are sharing some important information about bruxism: how it manifests, why it’s dangerous, and what you can do about it. We hope that this overview empowers you to seek treatment for bruxism before it wreaks too much havoc in your life.

So, first of all, what is bruxism? When we use the term “bruxism” we are talking about chronic dental grinding and clenching. Bruxism puts strain on your temporomandibular joints, and it creates enamel-on-enamel contact that undermines your dental health.

Bruxism can develop for a number of reasons. In some cases, patients develop bruxism temporarily, because they are particularly stressed or anxious. Bruxism can also be chronic: caused by poor bite alignment or TMJ damage.

The key to successfully treating bruxism is to first determine the underlying cause of the problem. Our dental team will propose a treatment plan for you depending on what we find during our bruxism assessment.

Patients with poorly aligned bite surfaces may benefit from orthodontic treatment, dental bonding, or customized restorations. All of these solutions can be used to refine the patient’s bite, so that the top and bottom teeth come together more naturally and in a healthy way.

You may also wear a customized oral appliance at night. This mouthpiece helps to take pressure off of your jaw joint and to protect your teeth from enamel-on-enamel damage. It is very important that you take the time to have a mouthpiece custom-fit, rather than settling for one that is one-size-fits-all, as a poorly fitting mouthguard can actually exacerbate bite issues.

If you think that you’re dealing with bruxism, then it’s time to reach out to our Novato dentists for an assessment. You absolutely do not want to allow this problem to persist unaddressed, as this can compound the damage to your smile and your maxillofacial structure.

Give our office a call to learn more, or to schedule a personal consultation. And remember, you can submit a question for our Novato dentists 24/7 through the Contact Us page on our site. We’re here to help!