Teeth grinding is often a nervous habit done while asleep. The grinding action can slowly wear away the enamel on your teeth and make the teeth more susceptible to damage. A first line treatment for teeth grinding is fitting you for a mouthguard to prevent you from grinding in your sleep.
But mouth guards aren't always the final answer to the problem. The guards can come loose or cause discomfort that prevents you from sleeping, which would make continued usage impractical. It's also possible that your teeth have suffered too much damage for the guard alone to be sufficient treatment. in these cases, it's time to bring the dentist in for a new solution.
Here are a few treatment options for teeth grinding if mouthguards haven't worked.
Increased Stress Management
Your dentist likely recommended a stress management plan when you were first diagnosed with teeth grinding. But an inability to wear a mouth guard means its even more important for you to learn to manage stress.
Speaking with a counselor, taking a prescription stress medication, and exercising regularly can all help manage stress levels. It's important to find a routine that works for you and to stick to that routine.
There are also some behavioral modifications that can help manage stress and lessen your risk of grinding. Avoid alcohol and high amounts of caffeine, particularly right before bed. Break any habitual chewing you do such as chomping or gum or chewing on the end of a pen.
If a mouthguard isn't staying in properly at night, or if you have bite issues that make a mouthguard impractical, your dentist might recommend a dental splint. A dental splint is similar in natural to a mouth guard but is worn all day and night rather than just during sleep. The more permanent nature means that the splints slip around less, which could prove more comfortable for you.
A dental splint can also provide a service similar to braces. The splint can be used to exert pressure on the teeth to shift teeth and correct minor bite problems. Severe bite problems might still require metal or invisible traditional braces.
Teeth grinding can cause sufficient damage to your teeth that fillings aren't enough to stabilise the remaining tooth structure. In these cases, your dentist might recommend crowns before a dental splint can be used.
The dental crown procedure involves creating a tooth-colored composite cap that fits directly over your existing tooth. This composite material protects the remaining enamel and the sensitive root structure underneath.
For more options consult with clinics such as Dentistry on Wellington.