What is Bruxism and Can It Hurt My Teeth?

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What is Bruxism
“Bruxism” is a technical term used to describe chronic teeth clenching or grinding.

While it might seem like an unbecoming habit, bruxism is very harmful to your teeth, existing dental work, and even your TMJ.

Teeth are Strong, but They’re Not Invincible

Healthy tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the entire human body. Yet, when enamel wears against enamel (when the upper and lower teeth are consistently grinding together,) it can cause your teeth to wear down.

Over the months and years, we will start to see wear facets throughout your mouth, such as on the cusps of your back molars or along the gumlines where teeth tend to “flex.” Soon, you’ll likely start to notice flattened areas or feel sharp ridges with your tongue.

By this point, your dental work — such as fillings or crowns — will likely start to fracture away. If you’ve invested in cosmetic treatments like veneers or a smile makeover, you could damage everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

The excessive muscle strain through your jaw can lead to TMJ disorder, facial pain, or even migraine headaches.

What You Can do to Help

If you’re grinding your teeth in the daytime, it helps to make a conscious effort to relax your lips, cheeks, and jaws. Ideally your teeth should be barely apart while your lips are closed. If your teeth are shut together, you’re not relaxed.

A stressful lifestyle can make this challenging. Still, some people experience bruxism at night, waking up with severe headaches. Meditation or relaxation exercises may not be enough.

Our dentist, Dr. Omid Farahmand can fit you with a protective mouthguard or bite splint to wear at night or even during the day. This custom appliance protects your smile and prevents unnecessary tooth wear. Get yours at OF Dental Care today! For further information or to schedule a consultation with our highly reputable and experienced dentist in West Hollywood and Arcadia please visit www.OFDentalCare.com.

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