Bruxism comes from Greek brukein meaning to gnash the teeth. It means tooth grinding and the Bible refers to it as gnashing. Over many years it flattens the teeth. This unattractive flattening is seen by everyone. Over many years a patient can literally grind away the natural crowns and this is a good reason to seek treatment. The shortening of teeth causes unwanted changes in the face. As the face becomes shorter, the lips thin and shorten and the face looks older. Some patients make a great deal of noise while grinding and spouses complain of lost sleep. In many cases, it is not the patient but the spouse that demands treatment.
One of the first signs of bruxism is hot and cold sensitive teeth because of the flexing that happens when teeth are ground from side to side. They were not designed to flex so they melt at the areas of bending above the gums. This area can become very sensitive. Notches (abfraction) can develop in the roots and this causes receding gums.
Many patients with bruxism develop bone bumps as the body strengthens the bone supporting the teeth. Patients often have temporal headaches from overworked chewing muscles. Sometimes they complain of dreams of losing teeth. These patients place a great deal of pressure on the teeth using the beaver muscles on both sides of the face. When a patient bruxes, the muscles on the side of the face grow large and change the shape of the face. With time the face begins looking square with increasing jowls. Enlarged jowls can also be caused by bulimia.The enlarged masseters can press on the parotid glands and decrease the saliva production so that some patients develop a dry mouth.
If you would like to learn more about a canker sore and would like to speak with an Atlanta dentist , please consider the Atlanta Dental Group PC. Our Atlanta dental team has over 45 years combined experience serving Atlanta’s dental needs. Our dentists are dedicated to their patients’ good health and well being. You are welcome to join our family of patients. If you would like to schedule a free dental consultation with one of our Atlanta dentists or with Georgia Dentist, Dr. Mark Allan Padolsky, call 404-874-7428 to make an appointment.