Don’t Ignore Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding or clenching, a habit known as bruxism, often occurs without an individual’s awareness. That does not mean that the behavior cannot cause significant damage to a dental patient’s teeth and jaw.

Treatment for bruxism often differs based on its causation, but the behavior should not be ignored. Dr. Ben Ahlbrecht, a dentist practicing in Indianapolis, IN, outlines three ways that continuous teeth grinding and clenching can harm your smile.

teeth grinding treatment in Indianapolis Indiana

Oral Health Risks from Bruxism

Chronic Jaw Pain

Jaw pain could signify that bruxism has created pressure on the jaw and could lead to temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMJ. This pain will worsen if teeth grinding continues, so you should talk to your dentist about TMJ treatment and ways to reduce bruxism.

TMJ may also present with chronic headaches, soreness in the neck or shoulders, popping in the jaw, or difficulty chewing. Your dentist will likely recommend stress relief exercises and strategies to alleviate some of this tension.

Damaging Prior Dental Work

If you have received restorative or cosmetic dental work, you likely have porcelain veneers, crowns, or fillings secured to your teeth to maintain your oral health and your beautiful smile. While advanced dental techniques ensure durable dental solutions with modern treatment, bruxism could damage these fixtures.

The abnormally high amounts of pressure created from this behavior can wear down fillings or dislodge a dental crown. This can leave the underlying tooth vulnerable to additional harm and tooth pain until the issue is resolved with further dental work. Therefore, treatment for tooth grinding and clenching is a major part of comprehensive restorative dentistry.

Detracting from Your Smile’s Appearance

Teeth grinding can hurt the structure of your teeth, but it can also negatively impact the appearance of your smile. Constant grating of top teeth against bottom teeth can alter the look of the teeth, causing chips or cracks to form.

This may lead you to become dissatisfied with your smile, which can bring down your self-esteem and overall confidence. Treatments for bruxism can protect your smile and preserve your teeth as well as your facial structure.

Treatment for TMJ and More in Indianapolis, IN

North Meridian Dental Excellence offers TMJ treatment and other restorative dental solutions to patients in Indianapolis, IN. Dr. Ahlbrecht also specializes in cosmetic and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact us online or reach our office by phone at 317.204.7134.