A patient recently sent me an article from the New Times titled: Grind Your Teeth? Your Nightguard May Not Be the Right Fix. Hi concern was if he should wear his nightguard another dentist made years ago. Whereas there are some good points in the article, I was appalled but some of the statements. Most notable, " It is not abnormal to brux, in fact in can be good for you." Another said, "It is a behavior, like yawning, belching or sneezing, rather than a disorder. This photo shows what can happen to individuals who let bruxism go untreated. The photo below shows the detrimental affects of bruxism, there is nothing normal about this and it could have prevented this gentleman from having to have full mouth reconstruction due to his worn teeth.
There are multiple causes of bruxism and these are a few:
- Misaligned bite
- Airway or sleep apnea issues
- Missing teeth
- TMJ disorders
- Stress or anxiety
- Certain Medications
As with any medical condition, proper diagnosis and treatment is the first step. The article goes further to say, "There is no evidence that tooth wear patterns reflect current grinding, and tooth wear is more often associated with an acidic diet, which triggers bruxism to increase the pH in the mouth. This may be true in a few cases but in my opinion, certainly very few overall. Having a TMJ and Esthetic based practice we see multiple cases daily where grinding has damaged the teeth. Most often airway issues and bad bites are the contributors.
Why is grinding harmful?
In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear teeth down which can also lead to changes in the jaw joints and facial muscles. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, implants, and even complete dentures may be needed. Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, exacerbate TMJ pain, even change the appearance of your face, and even facial asymmetry.
If you have questions regarding Houston TMJ or Houston Full Mouth Reconstruction, please feel free to call our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, 713-668-2289