Unaddressed allergies and chronic stress can cause some individuals to unconsciously clench their jaw and grind their teeth while sleeping. While it might seem innocuous at first, clenching or grinding your teeth at night, which is known as bruxism, can eventually lead to problems with your temporomandibular joints while also putting you at an increased risk of suffering a dental fracture.
Bruxism might initially manifest itself through chipped teeth, damaged dental fillings, compromised dental work, or more significant dental fractures. Even if the damage to the tooth enamel is minor, the area could trap bacterial deposits, which could foster tooth decay.
As time goes on, bruxism can cause unmitigated stress in your temporomandibular joints and surrounding connective tissues, ultimately leading to inflammation, muscle soreness, and additional discomfort. Without professional treatment from an orthodontist like Dr. Michael Hiller, bruxism could potentially impact the cartilage structures of your temporomandibular joints.
If chronic night grinding is becoming a hindrance to your oral and overall health, sleeping with a dental guard might help. This simple, plastic mouthpiece can help cushion the biting surfaces of your teeth while also lessening the impact on the temporomandibular joints.
Wearing a dental guard while sleeping can also work in conjunction with changes in your diet, simple lifestyle modification, and performing simple facial stretches each day. Over the course of a few weeks, you should notice a significant improvement in any previous jaw pain, and in your oral health.
If you live in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, area, and if you have been grinding your teeth while sleeping, we invite you to call 225-924-7367 and schedule a consultation at Hiller Hummel Orthodontics.