Bringing the Effects of Bruxism to a Grinding Halt!
Dr. Martin Shares A True Story of Smile Enhancement
Dr. Martin’s patient, Ted, was a grinder. In fact, Ted had been grinding his teeth for so long, he had worn some of his teeth down to almost half their original height. Ted suffered from a condition known as bruxism, which is when people clench and grind their teeth consistently enough to cause damage to the teeth. If left untreated, the teeth can be notably worn down. In Ted’s case, he was such a severe grinder, his front teeth were breaking and were significantly shorter than they were 30 years ago.
Causes of Bruxism
There are several causes for bruxism. Some common factors to grinding teeth can be anger or stress. People who are stressed, angry, or anxious tend to grit, clench, or grind their teeth unconsciously and intermittently, especially while sleeping. People who often suppress their anger or frustration can also show signs of the condition during the day by clenching or grinding their teeth in frustration.
Malocclusion, the misalignment of upper and lower teeth, can also cause this condition. When there is something wrong with the teeth alignment, it is very natural for one to grind the upper teeth against the lower teeth. Some diseases, such as Parkinson’s or Huntington’s, have been known to cause the condition. Additionally, there have been cases of folks diagnosed with sleep apnea that have developed bruxism from using a C-PAP machine.
In Ted’s case, bruxism may have been related to his job; Ted works outside. Interestingly, Dr. Martin has noted an increase in teeth grinding for farmers or others who work in dusty or gritty environments. Dr. Martin explains that everyone grinds their teeth to some degree, but for some it is much more severe. For Ted, the damage done to his teeth was extreme.
A Full Mouth Rehab
Over the years, Ted had work done here and there to repair his damaged teeth, but with his bite so compromised, the results would not last long. Dr. Martin explained that the only way to truly solve the issues was to do a full mouth rehab, in which case every tooth is eventually crowned. This would involve building up his back teeth enough to open up his bite. Once his bite was opened, there would be room for the properly-sized crowns to be put on the front teeth.
Dr. Martin started Ted’s rehab by putting crowns on Ted’s six upper front and his six lower front teeth. Then, to be sure there was room enough for the now-taller front teeth, composite fillings were placed in the lower back teeth making them taller in order to open up the bite. Eventually, Dr. Martin put crowns the back teeth as well. From start to finish, Ted’s entire mouth rehab took 2-3 months.
Guarding Against Future Damage
Obviously, it was important to protect Ted’s new beautiful teeth from being damaged by any continued grinding. To accomplish this, Dr. Martin fitted Ted with a custom-made mouth guard to be worn at night to protect his teeth.
Ted was beyond pleased with the work Dr. Martin had done. It amazed him that his broken-down, dilapidated teeth had been replaced with an aesthetically beautiful smile. Ted is feeling so much better about how he looks and to say he is smiling more would be an understatement.
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