Treat Teeth Grinding to Prevent Oral Damage
By Stephen Rogers on August 08, 2015
Have you ever caught yourself clenching or grinding your teeth together when you’re stressed or nervous? Do you frequently wake up with a headache? How about jaw pain? All of these are potential signs of teeth grinding. Teeth grinding is a habit that patients often practice without even realizing it. That is, until the side effects begin to develop. Teeth grinding can lead to an array of oral health problems, including erosion, decay, and temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder. Restorative dentistry treatments can restore the strength and function of teeth that have been damaged by teeth grinding, but we prefer to help patients prevent this kind of damage altogether. Teeth grinding treatment at Greater Long Island Dental is geared first toward preventing this harmful habit and then toward repairing any damage that may have already been caused.
Dangers of Teeth Grinding
Because most patients do not realize how often they grind their teeth, many do not understand how harmful this oral habit can be. Teeth grinding forces the teeth to endure an excessive amount of pressure and abrasion. As a result, the teeth can become worn down. As tooth enamel is damaged or lost, problems such as tooth decay and infection become a greater risk. Additionally, the force of teeth grinding can easily cause the teeth to chip, crack, or break.
Teeth grinding treatments are meant to help patients prevent this habit so that the teeth are protected from damage. There are some at-home treatments that may be helpful in reducing teeth grinding. Because teeth grinding is often a result of stress and tension, these natural treatments focus on relaxation, and include meditation, yoga, and warm compresses worn on the jaw.
Although relaxation techniques can help some patients prevent teeth grinding, professional care is the most effective way to ensure that teeth grinding is no longer a problem. Our dentists can provide patients with custom-fit mouth guards. These devices should be worn while a patient is sleeping (the time that teeth grinding is most common) in order to physically prevent the teeth from rubbing or clenching together. Because they are molded to each patient’s oral measurements, these mouthpieces are comfortable and should not interfere with sleep.
With proper treatment, patients should be able to avoid the damage of teeth grinding. Unfortunately, by the time teeth grinding is diagnosed, most patients have already experienced some degree of damage. Our dentists can restore the structure and strength of the teeth so that more serious oral problems do not develop. Depending on how damaged the teeth have become, our dentists may consider a range of restorative dental treatments, which include the following:
- Dental bonding
- Inlays and onlays
- Dental crowns
All of these treatments replace tooth structure that has been lost as a result of teeth grinding and strengthen the teeth to protect against further damage.
Schedule an Appointment
If your teeth have been damaged by teeth grinding, our experienced team of dentists can repair damage to strengthen the teeth and provide additional treatment to prevent this harmful habit in the future. To learn more about teeth grinding treatment options, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you.
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