topics of interest
Bruxism, commonly known as "tooth grinding," is the process of clenching together and the grinding of the upper and lower teeth. During sleep, the biting force of clenched jaws can be up to six times greater than during waking hours.
Bruxism can cause complications over the years:
- Wear down tooth enamel
- Break fillings or other dental work
- Worsening of TMJ dysfunction
- Jaw pain, toothaches, headaches, or earaches
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth mobility
- Chipped teeth
- Erodes gums and supporting bones contributing to gum disease
There is no cure for bruxism; however, the condition can be managed. The most common procedure to help to alleviate pain and discomfort is a Nightguard.
Saliva flow is important other than appearance and comfort. It keeps the mouth moist and aids in chewing, swallowing, digestion and speech. Dry mouth is a condition from the lack normal saliva flow.
Causes of dry mouth:
- Emotional Stress
- Related to surgery
- Medical Conditions
- Blood pressure
- Some mouth washes high in alcohol content
Dry mouth symptoms:
- Mouth feels sticky
- Lips cracked and dry
- Tongue may have burning sensation
People who experience dry mouth are at high risk for developing:
- Gum disease
- Bad breath
Helping dry mouth:
- Chewing gum / lozenges
- Humidifier at night
- Maintaining good oral hygiene
If you suffer from frequent head or facial pain, an incorrect bite may be the cause due to constant cranial muscle strain.
Headaches from dental stress are a type of muscle tension headache. A tension headache may be on one or both sides of your head and feels like a dull, non-throbbing ache that can usually be relieved by aspirin.
When you swallow, your upper and lower jaw muscles must hold your jaw firmly against the skull. Between swallowing over 2,000 times a day and a poorly aligned bite, the jaw muscles can overwork causing muscle strain which in turn leads to a headache.
People who suffer from migraine pain and chronic headaches clench their jaws in a balanced, centered position. This causes extremely intense muscular contraction, but little strain on the jaw.
Nighttime jaw clenching usually goes unnoticed but it sets the stage for migraine pain and chronic headache pain.
There are many types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depends on the type, location and severity of the crack.
Unlike a broken bone, a fracture in a cracked tooth will never heal. Early diagnosis is important. Even with high magnification and special lighting, it is sometimes difficult to determine the extent of a crack.
A crown will bind and protect the cracked tooth. When a crack reaches the tooth root a root canal treatment is frequently needed to treat the injured pulp. A cracked tooth that is not treated will progressively worsen, eventually resulting in the loss of the tooth.