Bite stress is one way in which teeth can become damaged or worn. It is the result of normal chewing and biting, but in some cases the stress is abnormally strong and can lead to tooth damage or misalignment of the jawbone. Your dentist can help reduce your bite stress to prevent these long-term problems.
Avoiding Abnormal Bite Stress
A common cause of bite stress is teeth grinding, also called bruxism. Many people who grind their teeth do so at night, so if you grind your teeth, it’s possible you aren’t aware you’re doing it. Often the only sign is wear your dentist might find during a routine examination. Bruxism could occur because of stress or misalignment. It can also cause misalignment if it is left untreated. Talk to your dentist about managing your grinding to reduce the possibility of damage to your teeth.
You can take precautions to reduce your bite stress and prevent long-term problems. Some ways to keep from causing damage to your teeth include:
- Avoid hard, sticky, or overly chewy foods
- If you are aware you grind your teeth, focus on eliminating the habit
- Balance food in your mouth when you chew to equalize stress on both sides
If you experience discomfort in your jaw joints, persistent earaches, unexplained headaches, or notice chips or worn areas on your teeth, talk to your dentist.
Treatment for Abnormal Bite Stress
If your dentist diagnosis bruxism, temporomandibular joint disorder, or signs of wear and tear, he might recommend treatment to reduce your bite stress and prevent further damage to your teeth and jaw joints. Treatment can include:
- Wearing a mouthguard at night to prevent grinding
- Orthodontic treatment to correct your bite
- Minor adjustment to the bite by removing small amounts of enamel
- Surgical correction of jaw alignment
This type of treatment helps move your teeth and your jaw joints back into proper alignment to even out and reduce your bite stress. In the long term, treatment will prevent long-term damage to your teeth and jaw bones.
Are you feeling the effects of bite stress? Contact the office of Dr. Dan Bush to set up an appointment with our caring team.