Is it a problem if I grind my teeth?

Everyone grinds their teeth. Some patients grind them harder and more often than others. It's a very normal instinct every child exhibits and is believed to be the mechanism to loosen up the baby teeth. If you think of the enamel on your teeth as glass you know glass and porcelain is a very hard impervious material. The enamel on your teeth can chip, crack and wear out over time. Most patients are unaware that they are grinding until they develop a problem. Symptoms of grinding include but is not limited to hot and or cold tooth sensitivity, pain on chewing and toothaches.

A significant number of patients grind in their sleep. Over years or decades of grinding the teeth will flatten out and become smaller. Your bite will collapse and the face starts to appear older. Occasionally a tooth will fracture or crack and depending on how deep the break may need to be extracted.
To build the bite back up can be very expensive and require crowing all your teeth. Prevention is really the best medicine. The first step is to become more aware of the problem and catch yourself during the day and stop. There is no down side to wearing a night guard that covers all your teeth. It's a lot cheaper to wear out the plastic nightguard than to build up you natural teeth. You can purchase a generic nightguard at your local pharmacy or have the dentist take an impression and make you a custom piece.

If you would like additional information regarding grinding or cracked teeth contact me through this web site or call the Levittown dental office.

 

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Dr. Marc Gottlieb is one of Long Island's leading dental practicioners, specializing in helping those who feel anxiety or apprehension when visiting the dentist. He can be reached at marc@anxietyfreedental.com