Bruxism and Gum Disease
If you wake up every morning with a sore mouth and jaw, you may be living with a condition known as bruxism. When you have bruxism, you can even be faced with difficulty biting, chewing, and speaking. Bruxism can also lead to gum disease. While bruxism can increase the risk of gum disease, gum disease can also lead to bruxism. The Elmwood Dental Group LLC can help.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth. While it can happen at any time, it often occurs at night, when you have no control over the movements of your mouth. Bruxism is often caused by stress. When you are under stress, the muscles in your body, including those in your face and mouth, become tense. This causes your teeth to clench together. During the day, you may notice that this is happening, and you can put a stop to it. Stress can affect you while you sleep as well. When you sleep, you are unaware that it is happening, so it continues uninterrupted. Bruxism can lead to uneven wear on your teeth, pain in your jaw and temporomandibular joints, an increased risk of tooth damage, and an increased risk of gum disease.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an issue that affects the health of your gums, your jawbone, and your teeth. It often starts when plaque and bacteria build up on the surfaces of your teeth, both of which lead to irritation and inflammation. Inflammation causes the tissues to pull away from your teeth, leading to periodontal pockets. Bacteria gets trapped in the pockets and attack your gums from the inside. They also start attacking periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. This leads to gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss. While gum disease can be caused by bruxism, gum disease can also lead to bruxism.
How Bruxism Contributes to Gum Disease
Bruxism can lead to gum disease in a couple of ways. If your bruxism is stress related, the stress you are feeling can have an impact on your immune system, decreasing its efficiency. This decreases the ability of your body to fight off bacteria and infections, including gum disease. Additionally, bruxism can lead to gum recession, which can allow bacteria to travel below the gum line.
How Gum Disease Contributes to Bruxism
Gum disease can be caused by bruxism, but it can also lead to bruxism as well. As gum disease develops, bacteria can travel below the gum line. In addition to attacking your gums, the bacteria begin attacking your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. These structures hold your teeth securely in place. When bacteria attack them, they become weak. This compromises the stability of your teeth, causing them to become loose. When this happens, your teeth can shift out of alignment, which then alters your bite and causing grinding and clenching.
Maintaining Your Oral Health
There are ways that you can prevent both bruxism and gum disease. If you currently live with bruxism, a night guard can help to prevent the effects of grinding and clenching. This prevents tooth wear and gum recession.
It is also important to take action to prevent gum disease. Preventing gum disease involves daily brushing and flossing as well as regular dental cleanings and exams. If you notice any symptoms of gum disease, it is important that you receive treatment immediately to restore your oral health and prevent more serious complications, including bruxism, from occurring.
If you have any questions about bruxism and gum disease, The Elmwood Dental Group LLC is here to help. Give us a call today at (860) 331-8748 for more information.