Signs of tooth grinding and why you need to know them
Have you ever woken up with tired cheek muscles or heard your partner grinding their teeth together at night?
“More than 5% of the Australian population are regular tooth grinders and this number is only increasing. Sometimes it is a sign of more serious health conditions”
If tooth grinding is allowed to continue unchecked for years, it can result in any or all of the following:
Pain and sensitivity
Wearing and chipping of teeth
Cracking of teeth
Shortening of front teeth making your teeth less visible
When the signs of tooth grinding are recognised and treated by a clinician who understands the underlying causes and is able to assess and make the correct recommendations, you will be in the right hands.
Your teeth will be:
restored to their original form and function
you will be confident about your smile once more
your general health will be positively impacted
Make sure your dentist isn’t just treating the signs of tooth wear. Doing this will do nothing to provide you with a long lasting solution or treat a possibly dangerous underlying condition.
If you are worried that you may be grinding your teeth and are concerned about the long term effects on your teeth and general health, then this article is for you.
Frequently, patients are aware that they have a clenching or grinding habit (known as Bruxism). A large number of patients however have no idea of the implications for their oral and general health.
Over the years, bruxism can result in severe wear and chipping of your teeth, sometimes making them sensitive, and in the long term affecting the appearance of your smile.
Sometimes, bruxism can be associated with snoring or sleep apnoea, which is linked to increased risk of stroke and cardiac disease.
Once more serious problems are eliminated as a cause, bruxism can be managed in different ways.
If there are no serious underlying conditions and the wear is mild, then a simple plastic device that sits over the teeth at night can be constructed. We call these night guards or splints
Sometimes with more serious wear it may be better to replace the tooth structure that has worn away with tooth coloured filling material or crowns
Sometimes a patient may require referral and treatment from a specialist sleep physician to treat underlying sleep disordered breathing