Stop Grinding Your Teeth!

Grinding and clenching occur at night or during the day. Since it is usually a subconscious habit, many people are not aware they do it. Although some people are noisy grinders and their spouses can hear them bruxing in their sleep, many people are silent clenchers or grinders. Children frequently grind their baby teeth so loud that parents can hear it through closed doors! However, unlike adults, this usually causes no lasting damage because their baby teeth have shallow cusps and grooves that don't interlock during the grinding, and most kids stop bruxing when they get their permanent back teeth around age 10 to 12.

Adults, on the other hand, can cause serious wear on the teeth, even losing 1/3 or more of tooth length over the years. In addition to wear, sensitive teeth, and facial pain, other damage includes wear notches developing at the gum line, loose teeth, fractured teeth, chipping of the edges of teeth, and frequent breaking of bonded restorations or fillings. Over time, excessive wear can lead to loss of the vertical dimension of the face, causing sagging and wrinkles. Treatment consists of a custom made nightguard or occlusal splint that conforms to the patient's upper teeth to provide relief and prevent or minimize damage. We recommend the new soft "Truflex" nightguard which is fabricated in a laboratory. If you have noticed any of these problems, please let us know and schedule an examination.