Are your teeth getting shorter? When you smile, have you noticed that you show less teeth? If so, maybe you are grinding your teeth and causing excessive wear. This is known as Bruxism.
Bruxism is characterized by the grinding of the teeth and typically, includes the clenching of the jaw. It is an oral parafunctional activity that occurs in most humans at some time in their lives.
For the majority, the activity is mild enough not to be a health problem. However, if bruxism occurs during sleep, it can cause significant health issues. Regarded as one of the most common sleep disorders, the activity can damage your smile, cause increased wear of fillings and teeth and cause damage to veneers and crowns.
On top of that, it can cause the failure of dental implants and significant gum recession. In certain circumstances it will lead to headaches, considerable jaw and neck pain and increased facial muscle around the jaw.
How do I know if I am grinding my teeth? Most people are not aware of their bruxism. Only an estimated 5% go on to develop symptoms, such as jaw pain and headaches, which require prompt treatment. A sleeping partner or parent may pick up on the behaviour first, although sufferers may notice pain symptoms without understanding the cause. Bruxism can be loud enough to wake a sleeping partner although some individuals clench without significant lateral movements. In a typical case involving lateral motion, the canines and incisors of the opposing arches are moved against each other laterally, i.e. with a side-to-side action. This movement abrades tooth structure and can lead to the wearing down of the incisal edges of the teeth.
People with bruxism may also grind their posterior teeth, which will wear down the cusps of the occlusal surface. If you are aware that you suffer from Bruxism, why not read the questions below and if your answer is ‘YES’ to any one of them, it is likely that you grind your teeth. Do you get headaches or jaw/neck pain, especially in the morning ? Have you noticed that your teeth are wearing? Have you had damage to dental restoration eg: crowns or fillings, for no apparent reason? Are your temples or jaw muscles tender? Do you experience discomfort whilst chewing? Does your jaw make a clicking sound? If you answered ‘YES’ to any one the questions, clenching or grinding maybe the cause.
Help is close at hand in Surrey Why not book an appointment with our expert dentist Dr Salimi by calling 01932 570099 or take a look at our website before contacting us. Dr Salimi has included a case study below of a 45-year-old lady who visited Estetica complaining of fractured teeth and a lost filling, tenderness in her jaw muscles, sensitivity to hot and cold, loss of chewing power and grinding during sleep for many years. Dr Salimi said; “We provided a clinical examination that revealed severe tooth substance loss, A loss of bite height/vertical dimension and exposed Dentin. “There was a lack of support from the back teeth and as a consequence, excessive bite force on front teeth. The lady in question had an imbalanced bite. “The aim of our treatment was to prevent further tooth loss, to repair and restore her fractured teeth and to compensate for loss of vertical height. "We created a balanced bite and finally, treated her shortened front teeth. The results were significant and highly satisfactory to the patient.”