Our teeth are made of 2 hard tissues, enamel and dentin. The enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, designed to grind down our food. But the enamel did not evolve to withstand grinding against enamel without the presence of food in between. This habit of tooth grinding is a recent phenomenon, an unfortunate consequence of our ever stressful life .
The consequences of grinding can be tooth cracking, tooth chipping or full fracture like for patient on the right, who woke one day with a tooth missing. I was able to restore her smile with the crown she had received. The other solutions for fractured or chipped teeth are a composite filling or a veneer.
Prevention is always the best treatment. To prevent damage from clenching and grinding, it is important to have an occlusal splint.
If you feel a sore jaw, head or neck aches or sensitive teeth please make an appointment to examine if you experience tooth grinding. Preventing the tooth damage is the best way.