Grinding teeth or bruxism is a commonly occurring problem often treated by Wellington cosmetic dentists. While mild forms of bruxism are not harmful, grinding teeth on a regular basis can lead to various oral health problems and damages to the teeth. The condition can be caused by various reasons such as anxiety, stress and even sleep apnea. In some cases, teeth grinding is a result of crooked or missing teeth or an abnormal bite.
There are several ways to treat teeth grinding. In most cases teeth grinding occurs when a person is asleep. This will require a mouth splint or a mouth guard. These devices are created to create a barrier between the upper and lower jaw to prevent them from being damaged further. A mouth guard is no different to the devices used in boxing and other sports to protect the mouth and teeth. These are usually made from plastic and rubber and are built to fit your teeth. While over-the-counter options are also available, they may not fit as well as custom made mouth guards. Mouth splints are much more durable and much more expensive in comparison to mouth guards. It must be noted that mouth guards and splints are designed to reduce the effects from the muscle activity during sleep and not to actually cure teeth grinding.
In order to cure grinding teeth, the underlying cause of the condition need to be identified and addressed. These treatments come in the form of psychological treatments that can help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress that can lead to teeth grinding. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common treatment option for stress and anxiety and they help manage how individuals act and think in certain situations. These treatments are administered by specially trained therapists.
Of course, long term bruxism can seriously damage your teeth. Therefore, regular dental check-ups are a must to treat the damages at their earliest possible stages. For instance, if the teeth grinding results in a cracked tooth, leaving it untreated can make it worse and lead to a dead nerve. This would require a root canal treatment. In more severe cases, teeth can actually split and will need to be taken out. Crooked, misaligned or missing teeth can also cause bruxism and will need to be treated with reconstructive treatments such as crowns, overlays or false teeth. These treatments can help cure the damage caused to your teeth by grinding and also help cure the grinding itself.