Posts for tag: teeth grinding
Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.
In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.
Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.
What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.
Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.
A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”
Severe cases of teeth grinding, known medically as bruxism, can cause a myriad of dental issues, including some that could produce some grave consequences like tooth loss. Luckily, your dentist can help you prevent these problems from occurring in the first place and get your bruxism-damaged teeth back into their original state. Learn more about teeth grinding and cosmetic dentistry with Dr. Steve Yi at El Paso Viva Dental in El Paso, TX.
What causes teeth grinding?
Not all cases of teeth grinding come from the same source. For some people, stress triggers their condition. For others, a misaligned bite may cause them to grind their teeth. Crooked teeth and sleep apnea are also common culprits for causing teeth grinding. Whatever the reason for your bruxism, your dentist can help you get to the bottom of it and protect your teeth in the future. Teeth grinding often causes worn down, chipped, or even broken teeth.
What can my dentist do about my damaged teeth?
If your teeth are worn from grinding your teeth, you may require a cosmetic dentistry procedure to restore your teeth and your mouth’s bite. Common cosmetic procedures to repair grinding-damaged teeth include:
- Crowns: Dental crowns restore a damaged or broken tooth and help protect it in the future. The restoration, which fits around the tooth on all four sides and the top, can also restore your smile’s aesthetic look.
- Bridges: A dental bridge replaces a missing tooth. Your missing tooth may be to blame for your grinding habit. In this case, a dental bridge attached to the healthy teeth on either side of a gap, restores the bite and might prevent bruxism.
- Bonding: If your teeth grinding has literally ground them into a chipped mess, dental bonding can help. Your dentist will mold bonding materials directly to the tooth to mask its imperfections.
Cosmetic Dentistry in El Paso, TX
You and your dentist can determine the best treatment plan for your teeth. Your treatment will probably include some form of grinding prevention like a night guard to protect your teeth against further damage. For more information on cosmetic dentistry or teeth grinding, please contact Dr. Steve Yi at El Paso Viva Dental in El Paso, TX. Call (915) 751-1007 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Yi today!