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Bruxism is the technical term used to describe grinding teeth at night on a regular basis. In adults, it is most often the result of untreated or poorly managed stress. However, there are some orthodontic issues and complications from allergies that could also play a role.

Regardless of the underlying cause, the potential complications resulting from untreated bruxism can have a significant impact on your oral health and function.

At first, the abnormal pressure applied to the biting surfaces of the teeth can cause chips or even significant fractures. Beyond heightened sensitivity, the damaged tooth enamel could trap food material and plaque, fostering a new area of tooth decay.

As time goes on, untreated bruxism can cause muscular tension and inflammation in the temporomandibular joints that hinge your jaw. The chronic ache and complications of the TMJ disorder can have a significant impact on your oral function and can even have an adverse effect on your quality of life.

Fortunately, Dr. Greg Atwood can help mitigate and even prevent bruxism complications with a simple night guard. This is a soft, plastic mouthpiece that allows some slip between your teeth. It helps reduce the tension of grinding and clenching the jaw. It also offers modest padding to prevent chips and fractures in the tooth enamel.

The soft, plastic material shields and protects your teeth while reducing the friction between biting surfaces to help relax muscle tension in the jaw. Even if you’ve recently developed TMJ disorder issues, the use of a custom sleep guard can help mitigate existing issues as part of a lifestyle modification treatment strategy.

If you grind your teeth at night on a regular basis and you’re interested in knowing more about night guards in Odessa, Texas, you should call 432.337.6165 to explore your night guard options at Atwood Family Dental.