Why Are My Teeth Wearing Away in Allen?
Are your teeth looking like a bulls-eye from the top? Are they getting shorter or jagged? Are they getting little crack lines in them? These are signs that your teeth are wearing away in Allen This can and should be treated.
CAUSES OF TOOTH WEAR in Allen
You probably realize that this didn’t happen to your teeth overnight, but you probably don’t look in your mouth every day either. Let me tell you a little secret, you should. Self-exams can help cut back on dental diseases and your awareness of the condition of your teeth will take you far in preventing dental disease before it gets serious.
Tooth wear can be very serious. Teeth grinding coupled with the acidic modern diet spell disaster for teeth. You can lose more tooth structure to wear than to tooth decay and need more extensive treatments. So how do you treat tooth wear and what happens if you don’t treat it? These are all good questions, but let's explore first how it happens.
WHY PEOPLE GRIND THEIR TEETH
No one really knows, but I have an educated guess. After doing some research and reflecting on this subject a bit. I have come to the conclusion that oxygen deprivation may cause bruxism or teeth grinding. One article written in the Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology states that bruxism is an oral habit that frequently occurs during sleep and some authors think it is associated with sleep apnea. The article states that bruxism is a common complaint of parents of children who are mouth breathers.
HMMMMM I often have patients that say, “I can’t be grinding my teeth, I sleep with my mouth open.” Think about this. Those that are mouth breathers do so because they aren’t able to get enough air through their nose. With children, it is usually enlarged tonsils or adenoids. In adults, the soft palate and tongue falls back and totally blocks the airway. Either way, the decrease in oxygen is probably the trigger.
I came to this realization one day when I was working. I was starting a root canal for a patient who had been in a lot of pain. This is always a stressful situation for me because as much anesthetic as I load the tooth up with, there is a tiny chance they will still have some feeling and it makes me nervous. I hate to think someone will have feelings. I noticed my teeth clenched together and I was HOLDING MY BREATH. It was at this time that I thought AHA. I clench when I am not breathing, I wonder if this is why so many of my grinders have sleep apnea? Lack of oxygen is not a good thing for your body. It is hard on your brain and your heart and maybe even your teeth.
HOW DO YOU TREAT THE EFFECTS OF TEETH GRINDING?
If you have worn through the enamel completely like some of the pictures above, the best thing to do is to place crowns on the teeth. All of the teeth. You desperately need to protect that inner layer of a tooth from the harsh environment of the mouth and you must cover it with Zirconia or Porcelain to do so. If you try to place filling in these areas, it is futile.
If you have not completely worn through the enamel, pat yourself on the back because you have just saved yourself a bunch on money by investigating this problem early. We need to do what we can to restore the areas where grinding has worn through the enamel and we need to prevent more destruction. A simple night guard might help, but if you are a “mouth breather” or your partner reports that you snore, chances are that you will benefit from an appliance that positions the jaws in a way that opens your airway and lets air move better. This will not only afford you better sleep, it will keep from grinding your teeth and help provide needed oxygen to your organs while you sleep.
If you catch yourself clenching during the day, a day guard can be worn. In addition to a day guard, however, I may suggest to become mindful of when you are doing it and do some deep breathing, relax your jaw and slightly open your mouth. When I was in dental school, teeth grinding was thought to be associated with stress. That did not make sense why so many children grind their teeth, but anyway, if you think about it, they were not way off. When we stress, we breathe shallowly, or if you're like me, you may catch yourself not breathing at all. So, stress may also be associated with mild hypoxia, which is the subject of another study though.
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