Visit an Albuquerque Dentist if You Think You May Have Bruxism

Albuquerque DentistIn our Albuquerque dentist office, we treat all types of oral health conditions and work with both children and adults.  One issue that many people face, without really thinking about it, is bruxism.  This is a condition where people grind or clench their teeth during the day or at night and end up eroding their enamel, as a result.  For some people, this mostly occurs during the day when they clench their teeth together.  Often in times of high-stress people will do this without even realizing it.  Simultaneously, people that grind or clench their teeth at night also struggle with the effects of bruxism.  We can both diagnose and treat this condition in our dental office. What are the signs of bruxism?If you are constantly dealing with headaches and jaw pain, you may be clenching or grinding your teeth.  Since this is often triggered by stress, when you clench your jaw, your entire face can start to hurt as the muscles are overworked.  Simultaneously, if you notice that the tips of your teeth are flat, or that part of them is wearing away, you may have bruxism.How will my Albuquerque dentist treat the condition?We can address the problem in multiple ways that starts with an examination.  We need to know how worn down your teeth have become.  For example, is the tooth worn away to where the appearance of it has changed or is the enamel loss more minor in nature?  If you have lost a significant portion of your tooth or the enamel, we may have to restore the teeth using dental crowns.  A crown surrounds the tooth like a cap and serves to prevent anything from touching the tooth underneath while also restoring the appearance of it.  This is ideal for teeth that have been chipped or cracked as a result of bruxism as well.If the damage is minor with only slight enamel loss, a bonding procedure may suffice and for those that only started to clench their teeth, a fluoride treatment may strengthen the tooth enough to prevent damage.  In our Albuquerque dentist office, we always suggest the least invasive treatment course, as long as it will still get the job done and provide the level of protection that is necessary.The final treatment stage, and perhaps most important, is to ensure that the bruxism stops.  If you have dental crowns placed onto your teeth in order to protect them but continue grinding at night, those crowns may become damaged as well.  The initial behavior must stop, and we recommend starting by doing things to help reduce your stress levels and learning to relax your jaw throughout the day.  Your teeth should not touch, and your jaw should remain relaxed while at rest.  When eating you can also try and chew foods that are softer for a while.  While sleeping, however, the best option is to wear a night guard.  This simple, retainer-like device, will ensure that your upper and lower teeth don’t touch, and no grinding or clenching takes place. 
 
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