What Bruxism Does to Your Teeth and Jaw

What Bruxism Does to Your Teeth and Jaw

Some 15% of adolescents and 8% of middle-aged adults grind their teeth at night. If you’re among them, you may have little idea that you’re doing it until you notice symptoms. Medically known as bruxism, teeth-grinding can impact your teeth and jaws in many ways. 

Our experienced team of dentists at Swinney Dental in Tyler, Texas, diagnose and treat bruxism and related problems, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, for improved oral health. Take a few moments to learn more about bruxism, including ways we can help.

Bruxism basics 

Bruxism can affect almost anyone, but it’s more likely if you’re enduring a great deal of stress or experience high amounts of anxiety, frustration, or pain. You may also grind your teeth if you tend to have an aggressive, competitive, or hurried personality. Bruxism may also stem from a chemical imbalance in your brain or from taking particular medications, such as the antidepressant fluoxetine. And while teeth grinding usually happens at night, some people grind their teeth during wakeful hours, too.

How bruxism affects your teeth and jaws

Bruxism affects people differently and with varying degrees of intensity. Still, grinding your teeth almost inevitably has a negative impact on your teeth and jaw. Such impacts may include:

Bruxism can also cause tongue indentations, facial pain, facial muscle tenseness, and headaches. And if teeth grinding carries on without treatment, bruxism can lead to a TMJ disorder that brings on more intense jaw pain, jaw locking, difficulty moving your jaw, and more.

What to do about bruxism

If you’re experiencing signs of teeth grinding, our experts at Swinney Dental can help. Once you’re diagnosed with bruxism or a TMJ disorder, our team will recommend a treatment plan. We take a nonsurgical approach to relieve your symptoms and keep them from worsening. 

Depending on the specifics of your condition, your plan may include a mouthguard to help you sleep comfortably and without damaging your teeth. These mouthguards are called NTI-tss™ devices. They discourage your jaw muscles from clenching by keeping your back molars from touching. If you have damage from bruxism, we can also help restore those teeth with devices such as dental crowns

To learn more about bruxism or get the care you or a loved one needs, call our dental team at Swinney Dental today. You can also schedule an appointment using the convenient online booking feature. 

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