Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is not only detrimental to your oral health, but it can also lead to other physical health problems like tension headaches. Whether you have your natural teeth or prosthetic teeth such as crowns or dentures, bruxism can wear down and damage your teeth. Luckily, we can help.
Many people grind their teeth as a result of stress and anxiety, but for just as many others, there is no specific cause of bruxism. In fact, it is very common for people to grind their teeth while they sleep or clench their jaw throughout the day without even realizing it. People with bruxism might also bite down harder than they need to while chewing food or talking. Often, people do not discover that they grind their teeth until they begin experiencing symptoms like jaw pain or tension headaches. Severe bruxism has the potential to wear down or even crack your teeth, harm your jaw, and cause TMJ disorder.
HOW DOES BRUXISM AFFECT DENTURES?
If you wear dentures, you may think that since you remove them at night, you are immune from the harmful effects of nocturnal teeth grinding. However, bruxism can still cause you to clench your jaw muscles at night, even without your dentures in. This harms your jaw and gums, and can even cause your jawbone to wear down more rapidly, which leads to your dentures not fitting properly. And if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth during the day (whether or not you realize you are doing it), your dentures can suffer. Biting down too hard with your dentures will also put them at risk for getting chipped, cracked, and worn down.
HOW WE CAN HELP
The most common way we treat bruxism is by fitting patients with a custom mouth guard. You would wear the mouth guard while you sleep to prevent nocturnal teeth grinding and jaw clenching. For people who suffer with bruxism throughout the day, we might recommend medication for anxiety or other treatments such as Botox injections, but your treatment will depend on your specific needs. We might also be able to fit you for reinforced dentures, which will be able to better resist the damage caused by bruxism. If you wear dentures and struggle with bruxism, contact our office to find out how we can help you.