Bruxism and tooth clenching in some form or another is common. But if you have a history of clenching or grinding your teeth, you may have a disorder known as “bruxism” which – when left untreated – may lead to the development of several complications that can cause pain and affect your comfort levels.
Common Effects of Bruxism on the Body
Chronic tooth clenching is not a life threatening problem, although it may be indicative of other health issues, including sleep apnea. However, the longer you go without treatment, the more likely you are to struggle with several problems that can reduce your quality of life. These include:
- Tooth Pain from Bruxism
Tooth pain that feels like cavity pain or sensitive teeth may actually be a result of clenching or grinding your teeth. The amount of force exerted by your jaws is extremely powerful, especially when your teeth are rubbed together and can actually result in cracked and fractured teeth, as well as irritated gums and nerves.
Your orthodontist will be able to see if you have any cracked or broken teeth. If you have unexplained tooth pain and believe you may be clenching, let your orthodontistknow as this may be the cause of the problem. Keep in mind that untreated cracked teeth may become infected and require a root canal, so the sooner you see your orthodontist, the better.
The temporomandibular joint is the joint that attaches the jaws together – the hinge of the jaw. Constant pressure on this joint from grinding and clenching on a regular basis can not only cause wear and tear but it can do serious and sometimes irreversible damage.
TMJ dysfunction is when the joint has been thoroughly damaged and will not line up properly, or when it starts to dislocate or slide out of the joint socket. If not addressed, TMJ can lead to issues such as lockjaw, where the jaw will remain stuck, unable to open or close, depending on what position it is locked in. TMD also has its own symptoms, such as pain and swelling.
Chronic Headaches and Sinus Pain
The force that is exerted when grinding your teeth can cause causing chronic, constant headaches. Sometimes these are felt most in the temples and around or in the frontthe ears. Neck pain is another, often overlooked symptom of bruxism and clenching. Often these symptoms are one of the first signs that you’re grinding your teeth, yet they tend to go ignored because they are attributed to other issues, like stress, dehydration, and migraine.
Complications from Untreated Bruxism
Bruxismis the type of condition that becomes worse if left untreated. That’s why it’s so important to have a correct diagnosis, and have your bruxism treated as quickly as possible.
Call Remarkable Smiles today for a free consultation to see if you are suffering from bruxism. Dr. Rashidi and our staff has experience treating bruxism and will be able to tell you what the best approach is for your unique situation. We are always available to answer any questions you may have and look forward to hearing from you. Call today (949) 770-8011 to schedule your consultation in Orange County and start addressing your teeth clenching issues, today.