Oxnard Grinding Teeth
Grinding your teeth is known in the field of dentistry as bruxism. Although this very common problem seems rather harmless, it can cause serious damage to your teeth and put your oral health at risk. There are a number of things that may cause bruxism: stress, bite issues, and more. No matter what the cause, the professionals at Kane & Kerper Dentistry are prepared to identify and correct the issue so that you can have a pain-free smile once more.
How does grinding teeth affect my smile?
When bruxism continues over a long period of time, it can cause a number of dental issues that may require extensive treatment. The constant pressure on your teeth can cause them to fracture, or in some cases become loose and fall out. When especially severe, bruxism can even wear down the teeth to the point that they are nothing more than a small stump. The noise from grinding your teeth may result in hearing loss, and the constant pressure can lead to serious problems such as TMJ, as well as headaches and pain in the neck and jaw.
How is bruxism treated?
Your treatment for bruxism will largely depend on the cause. If your tooth grinding is being caused by bite issues or misaligned teeth, a treatment plan involving orthodontics may be recommended. You may also be given a custom made mouth guard to wear while you sleep in order to prevent any further damage to your teeth and gums. For some patients, a muscle relaxer may also be prescribed.
What can I do to prevent myself from grinding my teeth?
There are many things that you can do to help prevent yourself from grinding your teeth, but the most important is to control your stress levels. Make sure that you are participating in stress reducing activities. Exercises such as walking or yoga are excellent for this purpose, and you may want to begin a daily meditation practice. Try to reduce your intake of caffeinated beverages, and avoid chewing gum or overindulging in foods that are high in sugar. Remind yourself to un-clench your jaw whenever you notice it becoming tight, and apply a warm washcloth to your jaws to help the muscles relax.
If you suspect that you are grinding your teeth, or if you have more questions about bruxism, call Kane & Kerper Dentistry in Oxnard today at (805) 983-0245 or use the convenient contact form below to schedule your consultation. We look forward to helping you have a healthy and pain-free smile once more.