At some point in our lives we all clench our teeth and grind them. This occasional grinding is not really much of a problem as it does not cause any damage. However, for some people the grinding occurs at night and is known as bruxism. This constant grinding causes major problems such as worn down teeth, gum problems and alignment issues. Without proper treatment the damage is permanent and can cause many other oral health problems.
Causes of Bruxism
Before you can look for ways to stop grinding teeth, you need to understand what causes it. In some cases bruxism is caused by stress that manifests itself as the person grinding their teeth at night while they sleep. More often however, the problem is the result of a real medical condition such as TMJ, a misalignment of the jaws or even a problem with a person’s hearing known as tinnitus, which is where the person hears a constant beeping or buzzing in their ears.
The problem is that most people who suffer from bruxism do not even realize that they are grinding their teeth since it occurs when they are asleep. If you do not realize it is happening it can be hard to stop grinding teeth.
What Can Happen if I Do Not Stop?
If you think that you may have bruxism then you should make an appointment with your dentist. He can take a close look at your teeth and jaws to see if you suffer from bruxism. If you find that you are grinding your teeth then you need to take steps to stop grinding teeth before you cause irreversible damage to your teeth.
Damage such as worn down or fractured worn down teeth can be repaired by a cosmetic dentist, but can be very expensive. In some cases depending on how severe your bruxism is you may end up with loose or missing teeth leading to implants, partial or full dentures over time. In the worst cases bruxism can lead to TMJ or worsen the TMJ that is causing it in the first place. It can cause permanent damage to your jaw and affect the shape of your face. In some cases it can even lead to hearing loss and severe cases of tinnitus.
If you want to avoid problems like this,
then you need to find a way to stop the problem in its tracks. You should start out by talking to your dentist and have him give you a full dental examination. He can tell you if you have TMJ or another underlying dental condition that is causing you to grind your teeth. He can also fit your for a mouth guard that you can wear at night to help prevent the grinding and ensuing damage to your teeth.
When many adults think of braces, they envision a little girl or boy with a silver smile. While traditional orthodontics are sometimes necessary, adults prefer, whenever possible, to keep their braces under wraps, avoiding a mouth full of metal.
Luckily, dentistry has come a long way, creating alternatives to traditional metal braces that allow many adults to straighten their teeth discreetly and fast. In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five of today’s orthodontic patients is an adult.
So, what are the options for saying goodbye to crooked teeth?
Traditional Braces. Traditional metal braces are more expensive and take a long time to work, but the results cannot be denied. They frequently need to be worn for a period of two years and can cause some pain. They also may require that one or more teeth be removed. Metal braces are especially good for teeth that are exceptionally crooked or when the bite needs to be realigned. Correcting the bite can make a big difference in dental health and can even sometimes alleviate headaches and TMJ.
Six Month Smiles. A 21st century alternative to both traditional orthodontics and, Six Month Smiles is the name for a type of braces that utilize clear brackets and special nickel titanium wires in the same color as teeth. They straighten the teeth using the same principles as traditional braces, but they concentrate on the teeth that can be seen while smiling. They are also usually less expensive than Envisaging and the other options for correcting crooked teeth. Sometimes called “short term orthodontics,” this technology is catching on with adults who have felt for years as though they missed their window for straightening their teeth. With Six Month Smiles, many people feel they have found a viable and affordable way to finally correct their teeth in only six months’ time.