Today we want to talk about something we treat all the time at our Lakewood, CO dentist’s office: the problems associated with bruxism.
Bruxism is another name for grinding or clenching your teeth. This condition can wear down and damage teeth, break restorations, cause TMJ-related disorders, and bring about severe headaches and other types of pain in your neck, back, and face.
Keep reading to hear what causes it and what Dr. Edlund can do about it. Then be sure to schedule your consultation at Hampden Dental Care!
What Causes Bruxism?
This may surprise you, but Dr. Edlund has found that the primary culprit behind bruxism is (more often than not) stress. That means, these days, it could happen to any of us. Still, having misaligned teeth or having an improper bite, can also add to the problem. Less common causes of bruxism can include certain neurological disorders, sports injuries or other trauma, and unintended side-effects from pharmaceuticals.
The Daily Grind
Teeth grinding has become a major issue and is an extremely common problem, far more common, in fact, than most patients even realize.
It often manifests in a little bit of wear and tear on the teeth, in which case we alert the patient ASAP that it seems like they are grinding their teeth and wearing down their enamel.
Usually they aren’t even aware this is happening because it all takes place at night while they are fast asleep. When this is the case, we normally recommend that they have a nightguard (aka bruxism appliance) made to stop the damage.
How does it work? Well, the nightguards we use for treatment of bruxism are clear acrylic appliances that fit comfortably over your teeth. It doesn’t so exactly stop the behavior. But the nice thing is that, when you grind, the acrylic material of the appliance wears down gradually over time rather than quickly wearing away your tooth enamel, which cannot really be replaced like a mouthguard can.
Don’t Hold Off On Treatment
If this condition is not treated, it can evolve over time into a much more intense situation that may well necessitate a full mouth rehabilitation.
At that point, we’ll have to talk about crowns and bridges and all those kinds of things designed to fix your teeth as opposed to the more conservative strategies that could be executed earlier on, such as a nighttime appliance.
Once you get your appliance, your daytime headaches (both literal and metaphorical) will soon be a thing of the past, and you’ll be able to recapture a better quality of life.
Keep this in mind: while over the counter mouthguards are widely available, they don’t offer the exact fit that custom-created guards do. They also are not as durable as custom guards, so they offer less protection. Store-bought guards can work as a stopgap solution while you wait for your custom guard from Hampden Dental Care to be manufactured, but they should not be used for longer durations as they do not provide the full protection found with our individualized mouthguards.
Get Relief Today!
Contact us now if you suspect you need treatment for bruxism, grinding, or TMJ/TMD. Our Lakewood, CO dentist’s office can get you some relief!