Many of us grind our teeth without even realizing it until it is too late. By this time patients have severe wear and tear on their teeth.
An example of long-term effects of grinding is presented below from one of our patients. You can see that the teeth have turned into small stumps giving an impression of a “toothless smile”. In this case, treatment will be complex and involve the entire month. At MyDental we fix smiles from the simplest to the hardest of cases.
Why Do We Grind and How Do We Stop It?
Teeth grinding is very common. In fact, according to the Insider about 10% of the US population grind their teeth (Schmitz, A. 2021, April 16). This is concerning because over time, grinding wears down your teeth causing fractures and ultimately affecting overall health.
Grinding often happens at night and is caused by disorders such as sleep apnea, stress, and anxiety.
Due to the subconscious nature of this disorder, patients wonder why they wake up with sore jaws, headaches, and ringing in their ears. Many find themselves at physicians’ clinic with a recurrent “ear infection” that are not cured with antibiotics. Patients are shocked to find out that their perceived jaw and ear problems are not infections but the jaw disorder called TMD (or commonly known as TMJ, disorder of temporo-mandibular joint).
In one of our extreme cases, a patient presented with complete numbness of the side of their face and pain radiating to their shoulder. The patient believed that they were experiencing a stroke or a heart attack. Ultimately the patient checked themselves into a psych ward after several medical specialist ruled out various causes of pain. In desperation the patient came to our office to extract several teeth thinking this would help!
Here Are Some Helpful Tips On Reducing Your Grinding…
Custom TMJ specific night guards are the only real solution to help prevent or ease the effects of grinding. Stay clear from over-the-counter appliances. They are soft and act similar to chewing gum. Wearing them will promote further grinding. It is best to have them custom fitted by your dentist. At MyDental we examine, diagnose and treat TMJ disorders with custom made appliances.
In mild cases managing stress and anxiety by exercising, yoga, and mediation can go a long way. Jaw stretches, gentle massages, chiropractic adjustments, and acupuncture can alleviate the tension build up around the head and neck.
What Can Be Done In Severe Cases?
Sometimes the effects of grinding over the years cause so much damage that restorative dentures are needed. Below is one of Dr. Shurova’s patients who had the majority of his teeth fractured due to grinding. A set of upper and lower fixed dentures was fabricated to bring that confidence back and improve that smile.
We want to put that sparkle on your smile again. What is your story, and how can we help?
Make Sure You Ask All Questions and Fully Understand Your Treatment.
If you have any doubts or concerns about grinding, be sure to ask Dr. Shurova at your next appointment. Call to schedule today!
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MyDentalTampa.com wants to make you smile.
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