Teeth grinding is a habit that can cause numerous oral health problems. The phenomenon is known as bruxism. Many people are unaware that they have this problem and of how serious the complications it causes can be. One of the reasons that people are unaware of the problem is that the most obvious symptom is a horrible gnashing sound when sleeping. The only way you can know that is if someone is around when you are sleeping and notices it.
The symptoms of teeth grinding also include a sensitivity to hot and cold. Teeth sensitivity will be the most immediately noticeable symptom of tooth grinding besides the sounds it creates. Over time tooth grinding will cause the teeth to flatten. The shortening of teeth makes the teeth and the smile less attractive and causes changes in the face. The teeth shorten and so does the face. The lips thin out and shorten and the face will begin to look much older.
Teeth grinding can cause other odd symptoms. It is believed that mandibular tori are caused by bruxism. These are bony growths along the mandible inside the mouth. They generally grow towards the front of the mouth. It is believed they are caused by stresses placed on the bone due to grinding. Grinding can also damage the teeth can cause an abfraction. An abfraction is a large notch in a tooth caused by forces bending the tooth enamel. Grinding can cause significant headaches as well!
A tooth grinding guard is a popular and effective form of treatment for patients with teeth grinding problems. It is a soft guard made of a special plastic that is custom made for an individual’s mouth. If made correctly it pulls the jaw joints down and forward away from the ear, thus relaxing the jaw muscles to help prevent grinding. The material provides a cushion for any grinding that still occurs.
If you would like to learn more about teeth grinding and would like to speak with an Atlanta TMJ dentist, please consider the Atlanta Dental Group PC. Our dental office has over 45 years of combined experience serving Atlanta’s dental needs. Our dentists and staff are dedicated to our patients’ good health and well being and our goal is to make your visit as pleasant as possible. You are welcome to join our family of patients, whatever your dental needs. If you would like to schedule a dental consultation with any of our Atlanta dentists, call us at 404-874-7428 to make an appointment.