Teeth grinding can lead to major dental damage and should not go untreated. If you suffer from teeth grinding, cosmetic dentist Wayne Myles offers a number of treatment options that may be right for you.
Why Treat Teeth Grinding?
Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is a common condition that can lead to serious dental problems like dental decay or even tooth loss. Prolonged teeth grinding is actually dangerous to overall health for a number of reasons, including:
- Wears away tooth enamel: Tooth enamel is the hard, outer layer of the tooth, which protects against decay. Teeth grinding destroys the enamel and makes the teeth vulnerable to decay.
- Loosened teeth and gum recession: Habitual teeth grinding can loosen the teeth within their sockets, leading to other dental problems like gum recession and tooth loss.
- May result in tooth loss: Teeth grinding can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Teeth grinding may lead to tooth loss either from decay (in which case extraction may be required) or from the loosening of the tooth root from the socket.
- May fracture the teeth: Teeth grinding puts constant stress on the teeth, which can lead to fractures.
- Cause or worsen TMD: Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMD or TMJ, can be caused or worsened by teeth grinding.
- Causes headaches, neck, and/or jaw pain: The constant strain teeth grinding puts on the jaw may result in constant dull headaches, neck pain, or jaw pain.
- Results in sleep disturbances: Because most teeth grinding occurs while sleeping, many sufferers may have difficulty sleeping. Teeth grinding is often so loud it may also disturb the sleep of a partner.
Teeth Grinding Treatments
Teeth grinding is detrimental to both dental and general health and should not be left untreated. Fortunately there are preventative and restorative treatments available to alleviate the symptoms and repair the damage caused by teeth grinding.
- Mouth Guards: Mouth guards, or splints, are one of the most effective treatments for teeth grinding. Mouth guards are custom-made devices that are worn during sleep to protect the teeth from the damage caused by teeth grinding.
- Orthodontic Treatments: For some, teeth grinding is caused by poor alignment of the teeth. Orthodontics can be used to correct misalignment, thereby treating teeth grinding caused by a bad bite.
- Stress Reducing Activities: Teeth grinding is sometimes caused by stress and anxiety. Practicing stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, and walking can help those with stress induced bruxism.
- Porcelain Veneers: Porcelain veneers are a wonderful treatment to restore the appearance and strength of teeth damaged by grinding. Porcelain veneers are tooth-shaped shells that fit over the front surface of the teeth to restore the teeth to their former shape and protect the teeth from further damage.
- Dental Crowns: Dental crowns are another option for treating teeth grinding. Dental crowns tooth-shaped caps that fit completely over damaged teeth. Dental crowns are perfect for treating fractured, decayed, or weakened teeth.
- Dental Implants: Dental implants are a permanent solution to replace teeth lost due to teeth grinding. A dental implant is a screw-like metal post placed within the jaw, to which a dental restoration is attached. Dental restorations for dental implants include single dental crowns, dental bridges, or implant-supported dentures.