Tooth grinding, also called bruxism, can result in premature tooth wear that predisposes patients to tooth decay and other damage. Although causes vary between patients, stress is a common culprit behind tooth grinding. Here is more about this condition and what you should do about it.
Teeth are designed to withstand normal wear and tear during chewing, but the direct trauma caused by tooth grinding can result in severe damage to enamel. Uneven wear and chipping can result in not only cavities but also infections. With prolonged pressure placed on the teeth by bruxism, patients may also suffer from headache and other orofacial pain.
Bruxism may be the result of stress or habit. While some patients may grind their teeth actively because of anxiety or anger during the daytime, others may suffer from bruxism when stress manifests during their sleep. Teeth that are improperly aligned have also been linked with tooth grinding.
The problems caused by bruxism may not become apparent until years after the disorder starts. In addition to chipping and uneven wear, patients may experience tooth loosening, unexplained headaches, cheek irritation, tooth sensitivity and pain in the facial muscles. Bed partners of bruxism sufferers may notice grinding noises at night.
Stress reduction, medication and oral appliances are three common approaches used for treatment of tooth grinding. By scheduling a consultation with our dentist in Houston, you can learn more about this disorder and how it is treated.
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