Treating Dental Damage Caused by Bruxism
Bruxism is a term that describes teeth grinding and/or jaw clenching. Many people suffer from this condition, but since the habit generally takes place while a person sleeps, they often don’t realize they have been clenching or grinding their teeth until dental damage develops.
Bruxism places excess force on the teeth, which can lead to a wide range of damage and complications. Here, orthodontist Kellyn Hodges goes over treatment options for dental damage caused by bruxism, and discusses the services that can help her Philadelphia, Bala Cynwyd, and Bensalem, PA, patients treat bruxism to prevent further damage from occurring.
What Type of Damage Does Bruxism Cause?
The teeth consist of multiple layers. The outermost layer of the teeth is made of a strong, protective mineral, called enamel. Tooth enamel protects the teeth from regular wear and tear related to biting and chewing. However, tooth enamel is not meant to withstand the excess force related to bruxism. Bruxism takes a toll on the teeth and can lead to damage such as:
- Chips, cracks, or dental fractures
- Tooth erosion
- Abfraction (loss of tooth structure near the gumline)
- Gum recession
- Attrition (wearing down of tooth enamel on the biting surface of the teeth)
- Broken dental fillings
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
Restorative Dentistry Treatment for Bruxism Damage
If dental damage is not treated, it will only lead to further complications. The teeth may become infected or damaged to the point that they are lost or require extraction. There are a number of restorative dentistry treatments that can repair the damage caused by bruxism, and restore the health and strength of the teeth.
The most appropriate treatment for each patient will depend on the type and degree of damage that is present. Treatments that are most commonly used to repair damage caused by bruxism include:
- Dental bonding
- Dental fillings
- Dental crowns
- Periodontal treatment
Preventing Further Dental Damage
It is essential to repair damage caused by bruxism, but unless the cause of the problem is addressed, the teeth will continue to be vulnerable to further complications. To discourage bruxism and prevent dental damage in the future, there are additional treatments to consider. Two dental treatments that can be especially effective at preventing dental damage related to bruxism are orthodontic treatment and custom mouth guards.
Bruxism is often a result of malocclusion problems. If the jaw and teeth are not aligned properly, bruxism is more likely to be a problem. Dr. Hodges offers a comprehensive range of orthodontic treatments, including braces and Invisalign®, to put the jaw and teeth in proper alignment, and discourage grinding and clenching.
A custom mouth guard is another effective tool in treating bruxism. A mouth guard holds the jaw in proper alignment while a person sleeps, and creates a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, so that they cannot grind against one another and cause damage.
Contact Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics
If you have concerns about dental damage caused by bruxism, Dr. Kellyn Hodges can help you explore treatment options for restoring the teeth and preventing further complications. To learn what treatment plan may be right for you, send us a message online, or call (215) 245-5100 and schedule an appointment.