Do you experience pain in your molars when you wake up in the morning? Do your jaw muscles feel tight or sore? Have you experienced an increase in tooth erosion, chips, or fractures? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Chronic teeth grinding, a condition known as bruxism, can cause oral and facial discomfort, and result in serious dental damage. At the practice of Dr. Jon Marc Van Slate, we offer restorative dentistry treatment to address the dental damage that occurs as a result of teeth grinding. To learn more about dental damage and teeth grinding, contact our Houston, TX practice today.
When patients grind and clench their teeth and jaw at night while sleeping, it puts excessive pressure on the teeth. When this occurs night after night, the pressure can gradually weaken the teeth, resulting in a piece of the tooth chipping off.
To treat a chipped tooth caused by bruxism, Dr. Van Slate can replace the lost tooth structure with tooth-colored composite resin. This malleable material can be shaped to the tooth and hardened with a curing light to treat the dental chip in one quick appointment. In the case of larger chips that compromise the structure of the tooth, we may place a porcelain dental crown to lend strength to the damaged tooth.
Tooth fractures, or cracks down the length of the tooth, can also result from the excess pressure exerted on the teeth when grinding and cleaning. Minor fractures can be filled in with composite resin, while larger fractures may require a dental crown to protect the tooth and allow it to withstand the daily pressure of biting and chewing.
Enamel erosion is a condition that typically occurs with the passage of time, as the protective outer layer of the tools slowly wears down. However, enamel loss can be accelerated when patients chronically grind their teeth. As the enamel wears down, the teeth become more sensitive to hold and cold food and beverages, hard and chewy foods, and to pressure in general.
To treat enamel erosion, we may recommend preventive measures, such as the nightly use of a mouth guard and sensitive formula toothpaste. If the enamel loss causes significant discomfort, we can apply composite resin or place a dental crown to provide a protective barrier for the tooth.
In addition to wearing down tooth enamel, bruxism also causes the gums to recede at a faster rate. As the gums recede, the roots of the tooth become exposed, increasing the risk of cavities and causing root sensitivity to pressure and temperature changes.
To treat gum recession, we may apply a composite to the root or recommend that you undergo a gum graft. These treatments will protect the roots of the tooth from infection and discomfort.
To undergo a dental exam and undergo treatment for teeth grinding, contact the practice of Dr. Jon Marc Van Slate to schedule an appointment.