Grinding one’s teeth at night (“bruxism”) not only produces a disconcerting noise for anyone within earshot, but it also wears down tooth enamel. On top of that, bruxism may lead to shifting of teeth and weakening of underlying bone to the point where it can contribute to periodontal (gum) disease. To prevent these adverse effects, the dentist can fabricate a custom-fitted mouth guard, which prevents teeth in the upper and lower jaws from contacting one another. As effective as mouth guards are in protecting teeth, patients who grind their teeth should also look into stress-reducing techniques (such as meditation) that reduce the anxiety that so often leads to teeth grinding. Relaxation is essential to breaking this potentially harmful habit.
If you suspect that you or any member of your family suffers from bruxism see your dentist. At 9 WEST MAIN DENTAL, we can tell you if your symptoms are in fact due to bruxism. We provide gentle, compassionate dental care of the highest quality. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 508.867.2777. We’re located at 9 West Main St., West Brookfield, where we’re currently accepting new patients.
P.S. Because teeth grinding often occurs at night, many patients are unaware that they grind their teeth until a dental examination reveals enamel wear consistent with the problem.