Bruxism describes the constant grinding of your teeth, often while you sleep, and it can often be the underlying cause of a host of other dental health concerns. For example, as you grind your teeth together, their chewing surfaces can wear down, which can make them more likely to become damaged. The change can also affect many different aspects of your oral health the longer it’s left untreated. At our Oxnard, CA, dental office, we can help you save your smile by diagnosing your bruxism and custom-designing an appropriate treatment, such as an appliance that can protect your teeth while you sleep at night.
Finding out if it’s bruxism
The first step to protecting your smile from bruxism is to diagnose the condition to ensure that it is bruxism. For instance, occasionally grinding your teeth now and then doesn’t necessarily mean you have bruxism. Yet, even if you don’t notice yourself grinding your teeth during the day, you may do so constantly while you sleep at night. During a comprehensive examination, we’ll check for signs that your teeth may be grinding together too often, such as excessive wear on their chewing surfaces, changes to your bite balance, and more.
How to address it and save your smile
If you do have bruxism, then protecting your smile will mean stopping your teeth-grinding and, in many cases, addressing its underlying cause. For example, a custom-designed appliance can often help stop teeth from grinding together until they damage themselves, while one or more custom restorations can help rebuild any damaged or worn tooth structure. If your bruxism is caused by an imbalance in your bite, such as crooked teeth, then your treatment might also include the use of orthodontic aligners to correct their alignment.
In case there’s more to your bruxism
Besides the consistent grinding of your teeth, the presence of bruxism can also indicate several other concerns with your oral health. For example, bruxism is often closely related to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, which affects how your bite functions at all times. The stress and wear on your teeth might make them more susceptible to tooth decay as well as tooth damage, which might not be as immediately noticeable. A thorough examination will help us determine if these or other issues should factor into your bruxism treatment.
Schedule an exam today
If you have bruxism, or think that you might, then seeking treatment as soon as possible could save your teeth from extensive damage. For more information, schedule a consultation by calling Oxnard Dentistry in Oxnard, CA, today at (805) 604-9999. We also proudly serve patients from in and around Camarillo, Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Moore Park, and all surrounding communities.