Teeth Grinding (TMD)
Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is a condition which affects 50% of adults at some stage in their lives. It means that you clench, grind or gnash your teeth against each other. This usually occurs in your sleep.
The problem with teeth grinding is that you are often unaware that you are doing it. Quite often, a night partner might comment, or your teeth may feel sensitive, or your teeth are cracked, chipped or look short. It also causes pain on the jaw joint and jaw muscles, headaches and earaches.
The cause of this condition is largely unknown. Contributing factors are stress, genetics and some drug habits. We use digital scans to monitor the state of your teeth to help assess if you are suffering with this condition. Teeth grinding cracks and wears down many teeth.
We at Siana Dental believe that protection of the teeth from this destructive disease is imperative. If we diagnose you as an active grinder, urgent provision of a hard acrylic balanced mouthguard is needed. This guard protects all of your teeth from further damage and must be worn every night.
Many patients are cured from grinding after a few months of using our guard.
A secondary treatment, which is gaining popularity, is an injection into the jaw muscle (which applies the grinding force) with a common anti-wrinkle paralysing agent. This reduces the grinding force, however, repeat injections are necessary.
Left untreated, teeth grinding destroys many healthy teeth through cracking, fractures and wear. Patients eventually suffer extreme sensitivity and jaw ache.
The damage to the teeth from teeth grinding cannot be reversed, and crowns are often required to replace the lost teeth structure. This is often a complicated treatment, requiring months of appointments and multiple crowns and possibly multiple root canal treatments as well.
This is one instance where prevention is far better than cure. A professionally made, customised guard must be worn to save you from considerable pain and treatment.
Children can also grind their teeth and need very close monitoring if this is observed.
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