The Impact Of Teeth Grinding

kahoka teeth grinding impactWhen we grind our teeth on a regular basis, this is known as bruxism. Unless treated, bruxism could mean damaged teeth, major discomfort, and serious complications for the health and stability of your smile. In today’s blog, your Kahoka, MO, dentist talks about how we treat bruxism and restore any damage that has occurred.

The Causes of Bruxism and When to Be Concerned

Why do some of us grind our teeth so frequently? Bruxism could be caused by high levels of stress in your daily life, or possibly due to issues that upset the balance of your bite. Causes could include tooth loss, injury to the face or jaw, untreated TMJ disorder, and misalignment. Warning signs vary, but you may notice headaches, migraines, jaw pain, soreness in the face or neck, or even toothaches or tooth sensitivity. Someone else could also alert you to the fact that you grind your teeth as you sleep.

The Impact on Your Smile

When you experience one or more of the common warning signs we discussed above, you should let us know right away. Without treatment, bruxism could place serious pressure on your teeth. The pressure could begin to wear down the structure, making them appear short, and could also crack and chip the outer enamel. Damaged enamel exposes the sensitive inner tissues to harmful bacteria, which allows cavities and infection to develop and threaten the stability of your smile. To preserve your smile and prevent painful symptoms and tooth loss, you need treatment!

Possible Solutions

For some, we could use orthodontic treatments to correct misalignment. We could also correct bite balance with the placement of one or more custom dental crowns, or by using a prosthetic to address the gaps in your smile caused by tooth loss. However, the most common solution is to create an oral appliance. We gather detailed digital images and measurements of your smile, using them to design and fabricate an oral appliance that looks and fits like a mouthguard. The device is worn as you sleep, and repositions the jaw to ease pressure and help prevent grinding episodes. This also helps address TMJ disorder! The appliance prevents further damage to your smile by placing a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth. If you have damaged teeth, we could offer repair with dental bonding or a custom crown.

If you have any questions about how we treat teeth grinding, then contact our team to learn more.


We don’t want this common oral health problem to lead to damaged teeth and major health complications. To find out more about treating bruxism and TMJ disorder, contact your Kahoka, MO, dentist, Dr. Barbour, by calling 660-727-4746.