The outer layer of the tooth, which is called the enamel, acts as a barrier between the inner structures of the tooth and harmful bacteria. If the tooth enamel is worn down or damaged, bacteria can infect the dentin layer, or worse, the root canals of the teeth. While restorative dentistry services can repair damaged tooth enamel and treat any other dental complications that arise, it is best to prevent these problems all together by preserving the strength and structure of the teeth. One oral habit that poses a serious threat to the tooth’s protective layer is teeth grinding. Teeth grinding puts excessive pressure on the teeth and will eventually wear away the outer layer of the tooth. At Dentistry at 1818 Market St., we provide our Philadelphia patients with teeth grinding treatments that will prevent this damaging and harmful oral habit.
Preventing Teeth Grinding
When tooth grinding occurs on a regular basis, it causes a serious threat to tooth structure, and overall oral health. There are several steps that can be taken to prevent this harmful habit so that patients can preserve tooth strength and avoid dental complications. Below are some treatment options that may be considered when a patient is diagnosed with bruxism (habitual teeth grinding):
- Relaxation techniques: In many cases, stress and anxiety are causes of the condition. By practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation, patients may be able to relieve stress through more healthy outlets. Unfortunately, teeth grinding often takes place at night, so relaxation techniques may not be recommended as a sole treatment for teeth grinding, but they can be helpful when combined with other treatments.
- Use of a dental mouth guard: The majority of teeth grinding takes place while a patient sleeps, giving the patient little control over this habit. By wearing a protective mouth guard at night, patients can physically prevent the teeth from grinding or clenching against one another. An additional benefit of these mouth guards is that they help hold the jawbone in proper alignment. This can be beneficial since misalignment is one potential cause of teeth grinding.
- Orthodontic treatment: Misalignment of the jaw or crooked teeth can cause teeth grinding. If these problems are significant, orthodontic treatment may be recommended to create proper alignment of the teeth and jaw and to help prevent teeth grinding.
Restoring Damaged Teeth
In most cases of teeth grinding, the condition is diagnosed after signs of damage have developed. Because of this, restorative dental treatment to repair the teeth and restore tooth structure may be required. Whether the teeth have suffered from minor damage or more serious structural damage, we can perform restorative treatments that will rebuild tooth structure and renew the strength and function of the teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
Teeth grinding has the potential to cause serious oral damage; fortunately, the dentists at Dentistry at 1818 Market St. can help you prevent this harmful habit. If your smile has been compromised by teeth grinding, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to learn more about our treatment options. We look forward to hearing from you!