Two common dental problems are malocclusion and bruxism. Misaligned bites and teeth grinding are distinctly different issues by definition, but there are patients that have both conditions. When you present with malocclusion and teeth grinding, treating the alignment of your bite can stop or greatly improve your teeth grinding issues. Dr. Aziza Askari, Farmington Hills dentist, helps patients with both of these issues through a variety of treatments from orthodontics to mouthguards.
In layman’s terms, the clinical term malocclusion means “poor bite.” There are many different forms of malocclusion. An upper protrusion (AKA buck teeth) is where your upper front teeth sit in an outward position. Spacing and crowding problems either create too much room for your teeth, or not enough, detrimentally affecting their alignment. When the center point of the front and bottom teeth don’t match up, this is known as a misplaced midline. An open bite means that the upper and lower teeth don’t overlap. This creates an open space in the front of your mouth when you bite down. Overbites and underbites are virtually the same issue either on the upper or lower arches of your teeth. Teeth reach out further than normal with these bite issues which creates a misalignment.
Bruxism is the clinical term for grinding teeth. This phenomenon usually happens at night, completely unbeknownst to you as you try to peacefully slumber. Bruxism may sound like a fairly innocuous dental issue, but the constant pressure and friction your teeth are forced to sustain can damage tooth enamel and dentin, causing the structure of your smile to wear down significantly. This causes both cosmetic issues and a higher risk for tooth decay. Symptoms of chronic bruxism often include headaches, jaw soreness, and irritation to the temporomandibular joints (TMJS). If you are dealing with persistent bruxism, fixing your misaligned bite with orthodontics is one way to stop your teeth-grinding issue. Teeth grinding is usually treated with customized mouthguards which are worn at night.