Bruxism and its effects on gums

Do you find yourself grinding your teeth in the middle of the day or wake up every day with jaw pain or a headache? If your answer is Yes, you might be suffering from Bruxism. 

Bruxism is the medical term for habitual teeth grinding and jaw clenching. It most commonly happens at night, which means many patients who suffer from habitual teeth grinding may not even realize it. They continue to live in pain for many years before they decide to see a doctor about it. Many a time, their partner or roommate is the one to notice the clicking sound. Untreated Bruxism can have devastating effects on the structural integrity of the mouth as well as the jaw joint. 

So, how can you tell if you have Bruxism? Well, a proper diagnosis will be provided to you by our dentist at Wilmington Periodontics and Implants. However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned below, it is a sign to visit our dental clinic in Delaware. 

One of the most common symptoms of chronic teeth-grinding is jaw pain. If you find that you have intense jaw pain, especially after you have woken up, it may be because of Bruxism. The pain will be more severe around the jaw joint area located in front of the ear. The pain may also extend and lead to soreness of the neck and face. 

One of the most severe and painful consequences of untreated Bruxism is temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD or jaw joint disorders. You may even have difficulties opening up your mouth completely. In long-standing and untreated bruxism cases, patients also experience locking of the jaw and clicking of the jaw.

People who suffer from Bruxism also tend to have flatter teeth surfaces. The high occlusal forces erode the teeth’ top surface and lead to flattening of the cusps of the teeth. The teeth appear shorter in height in comparison to before. 

Chronic jaw clenching puts heavy and undue force on tooth-supporting structures like the gums and jawbone. The gums may become tender and painful and sometimes can even look inflamed. Moreover, continuous heavy forces on the gums and the jawbone makes them weak and, with time, can even lead to their destruction. You may notice that your gums are pulled back or receded. This is known as gum recession, and it can progress and lead to loose teeth and eventual tooth loss. 

Early diagnosis and treatment of chronic teeth grinding at Wilmington Periodontics and Implants can help prevent the devastating consequences of Bruxism. If our periodontist in Delaware diagnoses you with Bruxism, they will advise you to go for a mouthguard. A mouthguard has to be worn at night and helps keep the upper and lower teeth separate. Doing so interrupts the force and prevents further damage. Gum recession has to be treated by appropriate periodontal grafting procedures. After a complete oral examination, our board-certified and excellent periodontist will advise you on a comprehensive treatment plan. 

If you think you may have Bruxism, please schedule an appointment and consult our periodontist at Wilmington Periodontics and Implants today. If you have any more questions or would like to know more about our services, please reach out to us. 

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