Bruxism is the grinding and clenching of the teeth. It can happen during the daytime, or may happen when you’re sleeping. Some people never even realize that they’re doing it, unless symptoms are severe or someone notices it during the night. For instance, it can be very loud and disrupt another person’s sleep.
Some of the ways you can know if you’ve been grinding your teeth include:
Premature wear from bruxism will decrease the life of your teeth, and present aesthetic problems. Grinding doesn’t only cause your teeth to be worn down prematurely, it can also cause damage to restorations like fillings and crowns, requiring them to be replaced much more frequently.
Your dentist may need to replace damaged restorations or repair teeth. Bonding, new fillings, or crowns may be needed. The best way to prevent the need for treatment is to resolve your grinding habit. Lessening the stress in our life isn’t always an option (and it’s a big contributor to clenching and bruxism.) Your dentist will recommend wearing a customized bite guard or bitsplint that will both prevent wear as well as reposition the jaws into a resting position. Not only will this avoid future wear, it will also decrease muscle pain and fatigue.
Ask your dentist if you’re grinding! An examination of your wear patterns, tooth surface, TMJ, and muscle tone in the jaws can easily determine if you would benefit from bite splint therapy.
Posted on behalf of Dr. James C. Kincaid
Chronic grinding (bruxism) can interrupt a good night’s rest for both you and your sleep partner. It’s loud, annoying, and can keep you or your loved one from getting the deep sleep that you really need. Not only that, but it can also have a big impact on the health of your smile.
Grinding can cause premature dental wear.
Although teeth are extremely strong, when they wear against one another they can wear down sooner than they should. This will result in sharp, flat teeth, and a change in your normal biting patterns. Abnormal biting patterns can affect your diet, comfort, and the long-term health of your mouth.
Existing dental restorations can be damaged or fractured.
Restorations such as fillings, bridges, or crowns are suitable for normal wear. Unfortunately, they cannot withstand excessive pressure on a daily basis, and can begin to fracture, break, or wear thin. Portions of porcelain could possibly chip off, and this cannot be patched up. Rather, the entire restoration would need to be replaced.
Excess pressure and strain to the TMJ may occur.
Clenching and grinding your teeth produces strain and tension in the TMJ and the surrounding muscles. This can create headaches, muscle pain, and joint damage.
If you’ve been battling nighttime grinding, it’s time to talk to your dentist about getting a dental mouth guard or night guard. Night guards will prevent future wear of the teeth and reduce the pressure on your joints. They’re simple to make, and the benefits start the first night that you begin wearing your appliance. A night guard is one of the best pieces of insurance that you can get for your smile!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel
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