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Posted on: November 2, 2020
Are Cracked Teeth on the Rise?
According to reports that were published in The New York Times, many people are experiencing more frequent than normal issues with broken or chipped teeth caused by stress-related grinding and clenching of their teeth. This issue may be related to problems many of us are experiencing in dealing with the stress of the pandemic and with the effects of isolation and restrictions on travel and other activities in the current, uncertain environment.
Is Bruxism the Same Thing as Teeth Grinding?
Bruxism is a condition that occurs when patients grind or clench their teeth habitually. This usually occurs during sleep. Headaches, pain in the jaw and damage to your teeth are among the most common issues related to bruxism and may be the first symptoms of this issue. People with intense or excitable personalities, younger children and those with medical issues are among the most commonly affected by bruxism.
Some of the most serious issues caused by bruxism include the damage done to tooth enamel by grinding or clenching teeth very tightly. This can lead to a number of problems, including the following:
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Increased risk of cavities and tooth decay
- Damage or stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
- Loosening of teeth
Finding ways to address issues with bruxism can help to protect your teeth from serious damage and potential loss.
How Can I Stop Clenching and Grinding My Teeth During the Day?
While stress is a common factor in most cases of bruxism, a few other life choices can also contribute to grinding your teeth during the day. Avoiding the use of tobacco, alcohol and caffeine will often reduce the severity of bruxism in our patients. Additionally, meditating and practicing mindfulness can sometimes allow patients to manage stress in a more positive and productive way. This can reduce the frequency of bruxism in some at-risk patients.
Is a Dentist Able to Help with Bruxism?
We offer practical solutions for bruxism that include repair of damaged teeth, preventive treatments to reduce tooth decay and night guards designed to protect teeth from clenching and grinding during sleep. These treatment options work together to create a comprehensive plan for addressing bruxism effectively.
What Is a Custom Night Guard?
Custom night guards for bruxism issues are designed to fit over your teeth to create a durable physical barrier that prevents damage to tooth enamel. These devices often resemble a tooth whitening tray and fit even more snugly. This ensures that you will not dislodge the custom dental guard during sleep and that you can protect your teeth and jaw from serious effects of bruxism.
Why Should You Wear a Teeth Protector While You Sleep?
Wearing a dental guard while you sleep will typically provide you with added protection against the wear and tear and the damage that bruxism can cause. Your dental night guard will reduce the risk of these issues:
- Deterioration of your tooth enamel because of friction caused by bruxism
- Increased risk of tooth decay and cavities
- Injury to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the development of TMJ syndrome
What Is Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome?
The TMJ is the connecting point between the jaw and the skull. It allows your jaw to slide forward and back and to bite down and move freely. When this joint is injured on either side of your jaw, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms of TMJ syndrome:
- Pain when chewing, biting or speaking
- Clicking or popping noises in your jaw when opening or closing your mouth
- Pain that radiates from your jaw to your neck, ear, face or shoulders
- A sensation that your jaw has locked up and cannot be moved temporarily
- Changes in your bite that may cause discomfort
If you or a family member are experiencing any of these symptoms, making an appointment with the dentists at Gentle Dental of Michigan is a good first step toward dealing with these issues effectively.
Can a Mouth Guard Provide Relief for TMJ Pain?
In many cases, custom-fitted dental guards can relieve some of the pressure associated with TMJ syndrome, which can significantly reduce pain and discomfort for patients at our dental practice. Your mouth guard can also allow more time for your TMJ to heal and recover from excessive grinding or clenching of teeth during these stressful times.
Why Select a Custom Mouth Guard?
Generic mouth guards are designed to be one-size-fits-all. In practice, however, this means that they do not fit anyone perfectly and cannot provide the protection you need to ensure the best results when dealing with bruxism issues.
How to Get a Custom Night Guard
Our dental team will be happy to work with you to take impressions of your teeth and to determine the best approach to creating the right dental guard to address your issues effectively. Most likely, the dentist will take a mold of you teeth which will be sent to a lab and used to fabricate the mouth guard, giving you a secure fit.
Is Financing Available to Manage the Cost of a Mouth Guard?
Our dentists and administrative staff members are committed to the highest standards of excellence in the dental field. We also work hard to keep your costs as low as possible in the following ways:
- Our dentists strive to find the most cost-effective options for every patient. This includes offering a range of solutions designed to suit your needs as well as your budget.
- We work with most major dental plans to reduce your out-of-pocket costs as much as we can.
Gentle Dental of Michigan also accepts dental discount plans to reduce the cost of your treatment even more.
- We can arrange for a payment plan that will allow you to get the treatment you need while spreading the cost of your procedures and appliances over time.
If you want to learn more about the dental services we offer or the bruxism solutions we can provide, give Gentle Dental of Michigan a call today to discuss your needs with us and to set up an initial appointment. We are here to help by providing practical solutions for dental care in Detroit.