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Bruxism is a term used to describe the chronic occurrence of unconsciously grinding your teeth while sleeping. While it might not seem like a significant problem at first, the clenching of jaw muscles and the force of hard grinding can damage teeth and distress the temporomandibular joints that hinge your jaw.

If a tooth is chipped or fractures on the biting surface, residual food particles and plaque can gradually start to collect in the damaged tooth enamel. This is even more likely to be a problem for dental fractures on the molars and premolars in the back of your mouth. As the bacterial deposits continue to build up a severe cavity could develop deep inside the tooth.    

It’s also worth noting that the muscular tension and potential inflammation in the temporomandibular joints, could cause the pain and discomfort of TMJ disorder.

If you find yourself grinding your teeth at night on a frequent basis, you should strongly consider sleeping with a dental guard in your mouth. This is a simple, removable mouthpiece that is made from a special dental material.

While the dental guard is in your mouth will cushion your teeth, while also allowing a mild amount of slip. This can protect your tooth enamel from fracture while also reducing muscular tension in the temporomandibular joints.

If you live in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area and you have a question about dental guards, you should call 704-849-6700 to speak to Dr. Derek C. Barnes or a member of the staff at Derek C. Barnes, DMD.