Grinding and Clenching
Known as Bruxism, grinding or clenching your teeth can cause serious problems with your dental health. Teeth grinding most often occurs whilst sleeping, you may wake up with a stiff neck, tenderness in your jaw, or a headache. In some patients, there are no symptoms at all!
Grinding can also cause stress to the jaw joints and result in a disorder called TMD. This disorder causes problems with the jaw and facial muscles. Difficulties to chew, speak, and open your mouth wide or a clicking or popping jaw are all symptoms of TMD.
There is also a strong chance you can wear the enamel down on your teeth, and clenching on a regular basis will weaken the tooth structure, which can cause the tooth to fracture, this is known as an abfracture.
An appliance called a splint or night guard can be made to relieve pressure on the joint and prevent any further damage to your teeth. There are may styles of night guards. Dr John Michalopoulos can best advise you on which guard is best suited.
In some instances, Dr John Michalopoulos can rebuild teeth that have been worn away from excessive grinding. Putting back the lost and damaged tooth structure not only gives you a more pleasing smile, but more importantly, helps protect the remaining tooth and jaw structures.