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Teeth Grinding

Some people habitually grind their teeth – often as a way of releasing stress. Dentists call this ‘bruxing’. Both children and adults can do this, almost always at night. Bruxing can deform the natural shape of teeth, but there are several things that can be done to restore the damage.

Grinding speeds the ageing process

Grinding makes the teeth less effective for chewing. It also makes the face look prematurely old. Teeth naturally wear as you age, but nervous grinding accelerates this habit and can make people look years older than they really are. When dentists restore the form and shape of teeth, they instantaneously rejuvenate both the smile and face.

What signs suggest that you are a ‘grinder’?

Your teeth look worn down
Look at the biting surfaces of your teeth, particularly the upper and lower front teeth. Have they become short, ‘stubby’ and flat? Do the front teeth look the same length?
If so, they are wearing down prematurely.

Your jaw muscles are sore
If you sometimes wake up with painful or sore jaw muscles, you may be grinding your teeth at night. If you are a habitual and continuous grinder, your jaw chewing muscles will become unduly prominent (which is called the ‘Schwarzenegger’ effect).

Your teeth are unusually sensitive
In some cases your teeth will be rather sore and oversensitive to hot or cold temperatures. The pressure on the roots has sensitised them.

Grinding noises disturb your sleeping partner
The sound of grinding teeth during the night can be very off-putting to your sleeping partner and prevent him or her from getting proper rest. This can be one of your first indications that something is wrong.

The consequences of tooth grinding

Destruction of tooth enamel
The enamel on your teeth is hard, but will wear down when rubbed against itself – just as diamonds will abrade other diamonds. Your teeth are naturally different in length but tooth grinding wears them down to similar length.

Loss of protection
The pointy ‘canine’ teeth protect your other teeth. When you move your teeth sideways across each other (as in a grinding motion), the lower canines ride up onto the tips of the upper canines and create distance for other teeth. Canine teeth that are the same length as all others cannot prevent tooth friction and wear.

A prematurely aged look
Unusually even and flat teeth make the smile look much older than it should.

What are the possibilities for treatment?

If you think that you grind your teeth, talk to a stress management counsellor to deal with the causes of your stress. Sometimes an unbalanced bite contributes to the problem. We are experienced at recognising this and will perform an examination once you’ve filled our specially developed evaluation forms. Sometimes a simple correction or intervention can suffice.

A customized tooth-guard, to be worn at night or in stressed situations like intense sports or work can instantly ease the damage caused by grinding.

Can you turn back the clock?
Definitely! Restoring your teeth’s form and shape to their natural proportions will instantly rejuvenate your face and smile. It is done in several steps:

Plan out the treatment
The dentist diagnoses and evaluates the extent of tooth wear, its prime causes and aesthetic effects.

Before shape and function
A colour-matched material (quartz composite) is temporarily bonded onto the worn teeth to restore their function, form and aesthetics. This procedure, called a Dental Mock-Up, can be left in place for a few weeks to establish comfort and appearance.

Restore hard-wearing qualities
Once the patient confirms that everything feels and looks good, the mock-up teeth are copied and replaced with hard-wearing porcelain or ceramic veneers / crowns. These are indistinguishable from natural tooth enamel. Before the permanent teeth are placed, many patients elect to whiten all their teeth. So the veneers are matched to the new lighter coloured natural teeth.

The final result is a set of teeth that look better, make the face younger and protect against further tooth-grinding damage.

Restoring the teeth’s natural looks and protection will reverse the effects of tooth grinding or ‘bruxing’. It will also have a strong rejuvenating effect on the smile.

The Sleep Clenching Inhibitor (SCI) Protects Your Smile

Grinding & Clenching of Teeth causes many problems:

  • Damage to your smile
  • Increased wear of fillings and teeth
  • Damage to veneers and crowns
  • Failure of dental implants
  • Headaches
  • Jaw and neck pain
  • Increased facial muscle around the jaw

Many people clench and/or grind their teeth at night whilst asleep and do not even realise it! This is due to a tensing of the jaw muscles bringing the upper and lower teeth under immense pressure. Not only does this cause damage to your teeth but is often the cause of headaches, jaw and neck pain.

The Sleep Clenching Inhibitor (SCI) Protects Your Smile

Grinding & Clenching of Teeth causes many problems:

  • Damage to your smile
  • Increased wear of fillings and teeth
  • Damage to veneers and crowns
  • Failure of dental implants
  • Headaches
  • Jaw and neck pain
  • Increased facial muscle around the jaw

Many people clench and/or grind their teeth at night whilst asleep and do not even realise it! This is due to a tensing of the jaw muscles bringing the upper and lower teeth under immense pressure. Not only does this cause damage to your teeth but is often the cause of headaches, jaw and neck pain.

Teeth worn flat due to grinding and clenching in a 30 year old

A patient of similar age who does not clench or grind their teeth

 

How do I know if I clench my teeth?

Do you get head aches or jaw / neck pain especially in the morning?
Have you noticed that your teeth are wearing?
Have you had damage to dental restorations e.g. 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 of the questions, clenching or grinding may be the cause. Your dentist is able to help you, ask about the SCI, made by Solutions 4 Snoring.

SCI Benefits
Treatment with the SCI is non invasive and it is worn only at night. The SCI will reduce tensing of jaw muscles and the risk of:

  • Damage to your teeth
  • Damage to your valuable dental restorations
  • Headaches upon awakening
  • Jaw and neck pains

A patient wearing the SCI mini-splint – A non-invasive comfortable treatment

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Patients like to wear the SCI?

  • Low profile worn just over your six upper anterior teeth – incisor to incisor.
  • Tailor made for you thereby giving a great fit.
  • A soft inner lining to give added comfort.
  • Suitable for patients with a deep bite.