Bruxism is the medical term for the condition more commonly known as teeth grinding. It is not a habit, it happens completely unconsciously. Awake bruxism happens during the day, and sleep bruxism happens at night.
Awake bruxism may occur because of by anxiety, stress or deep concentration. Sleep bruxism is actually considered a sleep disorder, and can be caused by disturbances in sleep patterns or an ailment such as sleep apnea. People of certain personality types, taking some sorts of medications (such as antidepressants) or that have a family history of bruxism can be more susceptible.
Bruxism presents in varying degrees. Milder forms may have few negative effects and therefor not require intervention. The more aggressive forms can result in serious jaw pain, jaw disorders and headaches. Bruxism can also severely damage teeth.
Our dedicated Calgary dentists at West Market Dental know that bruxism isn’t anyone’s fault, and will do everything we can to help you maintain the integrity of your teeth. We are trained to notice the signs of grinding early, which can help prevent long-term problems. As Calgary family dentists, we want to protect your smile for many years to come.
Signs of Bruxism
For those who do not visit their dentist often, or who sleep alone, the signs of teeth grinding may go unnoticed. If you are waking up with pain in your jaw or ear area, a headache, or seem more tired than usual, contact West Market Dental for a consultation.
Additional signs of grinding include:
- Overly sensitive teeth
- Clicking in your jaw (or a disorder of your temporomandibular joint)
- Damage to cheeks from chewing
- Worn or buckling tooth enamel
- Flat or evenly worn teeth
- Cracks or chips
Teeth Grinding Repairs
Worn and flattened teeth can be repaired to a natural-looking state by using cosmetic dentistry options such as:
- Enamel reshaping: This procedure can help with the buckling that happened to teeth due to the extreme pressure applied by grinding. Enamel reshaping can help restore the appearance of your teeth quickly and easily.
- Dental bonding: Dental bonding involves meticulously placing a colour-matched composite on to your tooth, which is then shaped to disguise buckled and shortened teeth. It’s a very good option for those who struggle with bruxism.
- Porcelain veneers: For teeth that have been extensively worn down by grinding, porcelain veneers are an option. A thin piece of porcelain custom-shaped to match your original tooth is applied to the front of the tooth (or teeth) to recreate your natural smile.
Stop the Effects of Bruxism With a Custom Dental Splint or Mount Guard
We really want to help anyone with bruxism. It is a shame to see healthy, perfect teeth being injured due to a condition that is completely out of the control of the person who has it.
The most severe cases of bruxism can result in teeth being worn down completely, or in your teeth being weakened to a state where cracking and breaking occurs. In these cases, crowns or implants may be needed.
The best way to protect your teeth from the effects of bruxism is by having a custom dental splint made. Dental splints may also be called mouth guards, night guards, occlusal guards or occlusal splints. These should be worn when your bruxism acts up the worst, and be comfortable, unobtrusive and barely noticeable.
Dental splints are custom-made by trained technicians to fit perfectly over your teeth. We will create a mould of your teeth that is then used to fashion your splint out of a strong acrylic material. Your splint will both cushion against grinding and help protect your enamel.
Depending on your level of bruxism, a dental splint should last from two to five years.
West Market Dental are Your Calgary Family Dentists
West Market Dental is comprised of a group of dedicated family dentists operating in Calgary’s southwest. We happily provide dentist services to the Calgary areas of Signal Hill, Christie Park, Aspen Woods, West Springs, Springbank Hill, Killarney, Strathcona Park, Rosscarrock, and Glenbrook.