IMG_0265Bruxism is the habit of grinding or clenching the teeth. people who grind or clench their teeth may wake with an headache, earache or toothache. Their facial muscles may be sore and the jaw joints tender. Besides causing discomfort, grinding can eventually damage dental restorations and loosen teeth. Bruxism also can cause damage to the temporomandibular joints -the joints on each side of the mouth that connects the lower jaw to the skull. The pressure from clenching and grinding can cause cracks or fractures in the teeth. As the tooth enamel is worn away, the underlying layer of dentin may be exposed. This causes the tooth to become sensitive to temperature changes and pressure. Regular Dental Checkups are important to detect damage in the early stages. The dentist can diagnose and treat irregular wear on teeth and determine the source of facial pain that may result from bruxism. Based on the dentists diagnosis, one or more treatments may be recommended. The dentist may suggest a night guard that can be worn while sleeping. Custom made by the dentist from soft material to fit your teeth, the nightguard slips over the teeth in one jawand prevents contact with the opposing teeth. The nightguard relieves some of the pressure of grinding and clenching. If stress seems to be a major cause of bruxism, it may be helpful to find ways to relax, such as listening to music or reading a book. An abnormal bite, one in which the teeth do not fit well together, may lead to grinding. Treatment may involve reducing the “high spots” on one or more teeth. For serious cases the dentist may suggest reshaping or reconstructing¬† the biting surfaces with inlays or crowns.

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