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Los Angeles Orthodontist: Bruxism’s Relationship with Malocclusion

frustrated-girl-grinding-her-teethAs an orthodontist in Los Angeles, Dr. David Alpan specializes in correcting malocclusion (crooked teeth) to improve patients’ smiles and increase their confidence. Straightening crooked teeth can also help improve other aspects of your oral health, including excessive tooth wear from habitually grinding your teeth. Known as bruxism, habitual teeth grinding is often a sign of an imbalanced bite, which can occur when your teeth aren’t perfectly aligned. In some instances, the condition may require extensive measures to correct a congenitally uneven jawbone. Often, correcting the alignment of a patient’s teeth can help create a more comfortable resting position for the jaw, eliminating the disturbance that often leads to grinding teeth.

Balance and Your Bite

A smile is more appealing when all of its teeth are straight. However, some patients might not realize that their mouths also function more efficiently with straight teeth. The average adult human bite can generate up to 200 lbs. of pressure on the back molars. The layout of a patient’s teeth allows for an even displacement of pressure, minimizing the impact that each tooth absorbs. When a tooth is missing, or when one or more teeth are crooked, the inconsistent pressure can strain the jaw’s joints and muscles, leading to excessively worn teeth as well as muscle spasms and periodic teeth grinding. Aside from occlusion, Dr. Alpan will also thoroughly inspect your teeth for signs of damage and the possibility of bruxism during your appointment. If spotted, crooked teeth and teeth grinding can both be corrected with the appropriate treatment.

Other Causes of Teeth Grinding

Though they’re a significant risk factor, crooked teeth are not the only reasons for you to grind your teeth consistently. Other common causes of teeth grinding, or bruxism, include;

  • TMJ disorder
  • Excessive stress, anxiety, and/or tension
  • Suppressed frustration and other negative emotions that can make you tense up
  • Congenital jawbone defect
  • Traumatic injury to the mouth or face

Treating bruxism typically depends on addressing its underlying cause, though many patients can protect their teeth from grinding against each other at night with the use of a custom-designed mouthguard. If you believe you may be suffering from habitual teeth grinding, call us today to learn how we can help improve your smile’s look and performance.

About Dr. Alpan:

With offices in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, Alpan Orthodontics has proudly served patients and their families from all surrounding communities since 1999. To schedule your orthodontic consultation, contact our Los Angeles office at 213-513-7559 to find the location nearest to you.