Bruxism is simply defined as excessive grinding and or clenching of the teeth. Grinding your teeth brings considerable force to the surface of the teeth, causing much wear and damage, as the teeth were designed to tear up and chew food. Teeth are destroyed by these excessive forces over a period of time.
The causes of this are still being investigated, but teeth grinding may be caused by both physical and psychological factors. Physical strain on the body may result in teeth grinding. For example, dehydration or nutrient deficiencies have been shown to be associated with the issue. The involvement of psychological factors in teeth grinding include stress and anxiety.
Teeth grinding which occurs when one is asleep may sometimes be a sleep disorder in its own right. Improper alignment of teeth or fillings, crowns or bridges sitting too high, or jaw not properly aligned, may all lead to the harmful habit.
A dental check up may reveal the cause. Some times a check up may reveal that a tooth is sitting too high – normally due to too much of a dental filling in a tooth, or a crown or bridge that is sitting too high. If that is the case, then the filling or crown/bridge may need to be reduced a bit or removed to be adjusted and then refitted. Once the bite is correct, the teeth grinding may stop.
Unfortunately, worn tooth structure from grinding can not be regenerated. However, teeth grinding can be reduced and even prevented. It is necessary to know the factors involved leading to the grinding. One of them, as mentioned before, is the bad occlusion or bad bite, such as when your fillings or crowns are out of alignment and not leveled with the rest of your teeth. In this case teeth just keep touching and erasing each other into tooth-dust. Problems connected with your wisdom teeth are also from this category. The first thing to be done, in this case, is to visit your dentist. The dentist is the one to know exactly how to treat the situation in which case braces may be required for proper alignment to fix the bad bite. A rigid mouth guard may be made to prevent further grinding and or clinching while sleeping.
In any and all cases a consultation to the dentist and or Orthodontist is very important. Braces or a night mouth guard may be recommended to fix the problem that will keep your beautiful healthy teeth. A dental health professional, like the Orthodontist can be a teeth grinders best friend.