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Bruxism, which is teeth grinding, can occur throughout the day but usually happens during sleep periods. Most individuals coping with bruxism are not aware that they grind their teeth while they are sleeping. Bruxism is highly destructive and if left untreated, it will eventually wear down your teeth. This problem can cause irreversible damage to your jaw joint or put excessive strain on your chewing muscles.
Q: Why do I grind my teeth?
A: Studies show that bruxism is related to stress. Bruxism actually generates much greater forces that destroy your teeth than normal jaw function. The jaw movements that occur when people grind their teeth are more exaggerated than the usual movement of your jaw.
Q: Can I prevent bruxism?
A: Although no definitive cure for bruxism exists, your prosthodontist can make a custom-made “night/bite” guard that will protect your teeth from further damage, support your jaw joint and provide some relief from fatigued muscles. A “night/bite” guard can easily be adjusted (or replaced when needed), for a totally custom fit.
Q: Why won’t an over-the-counter mouth guard work?
A: The boil + bite over-the-counter guard is too soft, so you would grind thru it very quickly. Plus it would be uncomfortable due to the poor fit. You need a truly custom guard made, by a prosthodontist, that is dual-laminate. Meaning it’s hard on the outside and a little softer on the inside to act as a shock absorber.
Dental treatment that affects all of the teeth in the mouth is called full mouth reconstruction or full mouth rehabilitation. Prosthodontists are the recognized experts in such treatments. The treatments can range from crowns, bridges, implants, and dentures that will essentially provide a “smile makeover” for the patient.
Look for more examples of “Before and After” treatments by Dr. Huang, a dual-Board Certified Prosthodontist.