Taking care of your smile is an ongoing process, and one that is easy to get behind on. After all, we are only human and a hectic day-to-day schedule can make it difficult to find time to attend our routine visits. Indeed, threats such as dental decay and infection can set in at a much faster rate than you might expect, and before you know it, you are seeking treatment to preserve a natural tooth. What’s more? Putting off your appointments can even increase your chances of losing a natural tooth. But what about nontraditional threats? In today’s blog, your Cedar Rapids, IA dentist takes a look at the effects of chronic teeth-grinding, and how it can lead to serious jaw dysfunction when left unchecked.
What is Bruxism?
Have you ever woken up with a tense or sore jaw? If you answered yes, there is a good chance you have experienced the effects of bruxism. Bruxism, also known as chronic teeth-grinding, occurs when an individual consciously or unconsciously clenches their teeth together and moves the lower mandible from side-to-side, creating friction. As this process continues, a person will experience a tense or sore jaw.
In addition to these effects, a person with bruxism faces increased chances of developing oral health concerns. For instance, the longer you rub your structures together, the more they become worn. With this, oral bacteria and other threats can set in and cause infection, while you also experience higher chances of breaking, chipping, or cracking. For more information about this process, reach out to our team today.
Potential Causes and Concerns
Chronic teeth-grinding is not a normal phenomenon that should be taken lightly, as it can either lead to serious complications, is caused by a serious concern, or even both. Indeed, potential causes can range from increased stress and anxiety due to environmental factors, as well as internal stressors.
Another cause of bruxism could be the body’s inability to breathe properly. For some individuals, their throat muscles may become relaxed when they slumber, restricting the airway. In response, the brain sends signals to correct this issue.
You see, teeth-grinding helps tighten these muscles, thus reopening the airway for proper flow. This could also mean that you are experiencing obstructive sleep apnea, in which case you should seek a professional opinion immediately.
Avoiding Dangerous Jaw Dysfunction
A direct result of bruxism includes TMJ disorder, in which the lower jaw becomes misaligned from the two temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s) at which it hinges to your cranium. While we can provide guided splint therapy or an oral appliance to aid your concerns, acting sooner rather than later is always going to be the most beneficial move.
Learn More Today
Contact Cedar Dental in Cedar Rapids, IA by calling 319-364-7108 to learn more about the dangers of dangerous jaw dysfunction, or schedule your next appointment with our team today.