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Bruxism is the technical term used to describe grinding your teeth on a regular basis. While it’s often caused by untreated chronic stress, it can lead to significant oral distress. In the short term, grinding your teeth at night can cause chips and fractures along the biting surfaces of multiple teeth. These areas of damaged tooth enamel can trap food particles and plaque, causing new areas of tooth decay to form in an already distressed tooth.

In the long term, grinding your teeth at night on a regular basis can also affect the muscles and temporomandibular joints that hinge your jaw. This can lead to soreness, inflammation and other complications associated with TMJ disorder.

To help prevent the damage and complications caused by chronic night grinding, your dentist, Dr. Henry Bowman, can fit you for a custom sleep guard. This soft, plastic mouthpiece allows some slip between your teeth. This helps mitigate inflammation and soreness caused by the tension of grinding and clenching the jaw. It also offers modest padding to prevent chips and fractures in the tooth enamel.

The sleep guard shields and protects your teeth and reduces 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 treatment strategy.

If you’re concerned about damage and other complications from grinding your teeth on a regular basis in Houston, Texas, you should call 713-961-9894 to explore your treatment options at Henry B. Bowman, DDS.