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Boise Dentist Blog

The professional blog of Doctors Dan Bruce, Steve Bruce, Rosa Pothier and Rob Ririe

Excessive grinding (Occlusal disease)

Excessive grinding (Occlusal disease) With the advent of community water fluoridation and other advances in dental health care, people are keeping their teeth longer.  Because of this (and the stressful pace many people live their lives at) I have seen more problems from chronic teeth grinding.  This can result in many symptoms:

     -Excessive wear resulting in loss of tooth height, function and poor esthetics.
     -Temporomandibular joint problems
     -Muscle spasms and reduced function
     -Headaches
     -Pain

The temporomandibular joint is one of the most complicated joints in the body, as it acts as a hinge and also slides.  When the teeth don't allow the joint to function correctly, one, some, all or none of the above symptoms can occur. 

When the teeth are excessively worn down, it is best to correct the problem before a full reconstruction is necessary.  Due to the complexity of situation, there are many treatments to consider.  Multiple splints are available to both protect the teeth from wear and stop the severity of grinding.  A correction of the bite may also be necessary to allow the teeth to function in harmony with the jaw joint. 

If you notice wear starting to happen on your teeth, consider an appliance to stop the problem before it gets worse.  It may be the best dental insurance you can get!