The problem with habits is that they’re typically difficult to break; even the ones that do us no good, and can actually cause harm. Smoking, for instance, is a notorious habit that many people wish they could quit, but find it extremely difficult to do so. Some habits, however, may seem utterly harmless, even if they are silently destroying your healthy smile. Today, your Ft. Worth orthodontist, Dr. Ciro Cabal, explores one such habit—teeth-grinding, also known as bruxism.
The Problem with Habitual Teeth Grinding
Many people clench their jaws out of anger and frustration, or when bracing for something painful (like receiving a shot). The occasional tension between your teeth isn’t much of a threat, but when you spend a significant amount of time rubbing and scraping your teeth together with no food between them, then you may have cause to worry. Bruxism, or habitual teeth grinding can sometimes be a manifestation of excessive stress and anxiety, or it can originate with a dental problem, such as an uneven bite. Whatever the case, your teeth weren’t meant to withstand such constant pressure, and if not stopped, bruxism can damage or destroy one or more of your teeth’s structures. The pressure can also damage your jaw’s joints, leading to the debilitating discomfort of TMJ disorder.
How to Stop Bruxism
If you suffer from bruxism, then treating it may depend on treating its underlying cause. For instance, if your teeth are crooked, then undergoing orthodontic treatment can straighten your smile and ease the pressure on your jaw’s components. If TMJ disorder is the cause, then you may have to realign your bite, which may sometimes require reconstructive jaw surgery. If you’re simply nervous or stressed, try placing the tip of your tongue between your front teeth. Your instincts should naturally prevent your teeth from clamping down and grinding together.
Stop Grinding Your Teeth with Help from Your Ft. Worth Orthodontist
To learn more about bruxism, or to find out how to stop grinding your teeth, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846 and schedule a consultation with your Ft. Worth orthodontist. Located in the 76179 area, we proudly serve families from Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, Ft. Worth, and all surrounding communities.