While natural tooth enamel of adult teeth is thick and strong, it can also be damaged by a number of different elements. For example, sugars and acids on the teeth can eat away at natural tooth enamel and cause cavities to form. Additionally, patients who clench and grind their teeth at night may also experience the development of unwanted wear and tear on the natural teeth, increasing sensitivity and causing pain. This condition, called bruxism, is common, but can be treated in a way that protects and maintains a patient’s soral health and wellness.
What is bruxism?
Patients who unconsciously clench and grind their teeth are often known to have a condition called bruxism. This condition can be determined not only based on a history of clenching and grinding, but during a physical evaluation of the smile. Some patients do not even realize they have the condition until their dentist finds wear and tear indicative of bruxism. At this point, the condition can be diagnosed, and patients can speak to a professional about treatment.
What are the effects of bruxism?
Patients who have been diagnosed with bruxism may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Clenching and grinding during the day
- A sore jaw upon waking in the morning
- A dull headache in the morning
- Broken teeth or restorations
- Wearing of the natural tooth enamel where the dental arches connect
Treatment for bruxism
While there is no treatment to essentially eliminate bruxism (unless it is caused by increased stress, during which patients can find ways to reduce or manage their stress), there is a way to protect the teeth from damage and reduce the development of headaches. By wearing a special mouthguard at night, patients can protect their teeth while reducing impact of the clenching and grinding. This oral appliance is often the easiest way to combat damage to the smile caused by this condition.
Do you have bruxism?
If you reside in the area of Sherwood, OR and are given a diagnosis of bruxism, it is time to work with a dental provider to prevent damage to the natural teeth and restorations. Contact Drs. Nathan Doyel, Ben Aanderud, and Whisenant today of New Smiles Dental to discuss treatment. Call (503) 925-9595 today and schedule your consultation visit with our team of dedicated professionals.