Bruxism is consistent grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw that often occurs involuntarily during sleep. Many people do not realize they grind their teeth until one of the tell-tale signs (like worn teeth, an aching jaw, or chronic headaches) becomes apparent. If you suspect you have bruxism, it is important to seek treatment from a dentist right away to prevent worse problems from occurring.
How Does Bruxism Harm Your Teeth?
The most obvious negative outcome of bruxism is extensive wear on your teeth. Day after day of grinding will slowly erode your enamel. The shiny, protective layer is the first to disappear. Without it, the teeth appear dull, the risk of infection and staining increases, and the enamel can thin to the point where the yellow-brown shade of dentin inside the tooth shows through. If grinding continues further, you may even reach the dentin inside the tooth and damage it to the point of tooth loss.
Why Should You Be Concerned?
The effects of bruxism can only get worse if the condition is not treated, so avoiding a visit to the dentist is the worst and most expensive thing you can do. With the proper treatment of bruxism, you can prevent jaw pain, enamel destruction, damage to dental work, tooth sensitivity, tooth loss, infection, and headaches.
How Is Bruxism Treated?
Dr. Fiss can suggest a few ways to help your jaw relax, which might include some jaw exercises to practice at night. For patients with moderate or severe pain, Dr. Fiss recommends physical therapy and massage therapy to help relieve tense muscles. He can also provide a customized mouth guard to protect your teeth at night. Since bruxism can be caused by stress, you might consider taking several measures to reduce the stress in your life, like practicing yoga, meditation, and other calming activities.
How to Reverse Damage From Bruxism
If the damage from bruxism has already taken its toll on your smile, you should not be worried. Dr. Fiss provides many treatment options that can restore a proper bite, whiten your teeth, replace missing teeth, and lengthen your teeth.
Bruxism commonly affects the back teeth, but when the front teeth are also worn down, the best treatment option is porcelain veneers. While more expensive than other treatments, veneers are the most permanent, natural-looking option that can mask any wear and tear, brighten the smile, and even make the teeth appear straighter. Dental bonding can fill in any chips in the teeth or any worn areas, but be aware that it may need to be replaced after ten or more years. Dental implants are the best option to replace missing teeth, but bridges may also be used to restore your smile.
With proper treatment, you can correct any damage and prevent further damage due to bruxism. Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Fiss today by calling (312) 951-5230, or fill out our online contact form for prompt treatment.Read More