We all know it’s a good thing to brush your teeth at least twice a day. But bruxing? Bruxing is a different story.
Bruxism is a clinical diagnosis for what is otherwise known as teeth grinding. People who suffer from this affliction may grind their teeth to certain degrees, and at certain times of the day or night.
If your spouse is a bruxist, you may be awakened at night to the sound of his teeth gnashing together. If your child suffers from bruxism, you may not hear him at night, but you may see the results: worn tooth enamel or broken or chipped teeth. And that’s if you look. Really, only a trip to the dentist can confirm when bruxism has reached a critical stage.
No one really knows what causes this seemingly unconscious clenching of the teeth and jawbone. Some medical experts argue it is due to anxiety or stress, and some say it may be just an involuntary muscle response. Whatever the cause, it is important to have a diagnosis so that the problem can be corrected – and it can.
If bruxism is diagnosed, your dentist will be able to assess the severity of the situation. If the teeth, for example, are worn to the point of showing the dentin beneath the enamel, the bruxism is considered a severe and persistent problem. If there is minor or no erosion to the surface of the teeth, then the problem is not so serious and it can be remedied usually through some sort of behavior modification or therapy.
With severe bruxism, the dentist can offer a number of solutions. These include wearing a mouth guard or splint to protect the teeth from damage. The dentist can create a custom form that is suited to your mouth and circumstances. Alternately, the dentist can correct dental issues that may be intensifying the effects of the bruxism – a misaligned tooth, for example – or he may prescribe medication.
Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli
Many children spend their summers, evenings and weekends in physical activities or organized sports. No parent wants to “hover” or be paranoid, but fractured teeth and oral trauma are one of the most common injuries in child athletes. Taking the appropriate methods to protect your child’s smile can prevent broken teeth as well as decrease their risk for injuries like concussions.
All high school and collegiate athletes are required to wear an oral protection device such as a custom mouthguard or a prefabricated mouth guard. Why not consider starting at a younger age, and allowing your junior or elementary age child to wear this piece of protective equipment along with the rest of their pads, uniform and helmet? Good habits start early!
Any child may experience oral trauma, but knowing if you’re at a higher risk is important. Teens that wear braces may be more prone to have lip injuries if something comes into contact with their face during an activity. Wearing a guard over their teeth and orthodontic appliances can prevent lacerations and tooth fractures should an accident occur. Children whose upper front teeth jet out are also more likely to experience fractured teeth during athletic activities.
Are all oral guards created equal? Not necessarily. Over the counter guards offer a one-size-fits-most barrier for a single traumatic incident, but they may not stay in place should a fall or subsequent injury take place. Custom guards are made by your dentist to fit securely so that they stay in place and protect against secondary trauma as well as possible concussions.
Children and their parents can have a custom made guard fabricated by their dentist. It may just be the best dental insurance that you ever invest in!
Posted on behalf of Muccioli Dental
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