Stress manifests itself in many different ways. For some people, it begins and ends with anxious thoughts, but for others, it can express itself physically. Many people feel back pain when they are stressed, or get frequent headaches. Perhaps you grind your teeth. You do this unconsciously, and even while you are asleep. This can severely wear down and even break your teeth, leading to a host of other problems. If you have severely worn down teeth, a full-mouth reconstruction in Chaska from Chaska Dental Center can help give you your smile back.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
Unconscious teeth-grinding, or bruxism, is a frequent side effect of stress, anxiety, frustration, or aggression. It leads many people to frequently clench their jaw and grind their teeth. Most of the time, people are not even aware they are doing it. Many also grind their teeth in their sleep. This clenching of the jaw can lead to a variety of dental issues.
The Effects of Bruxism
The jaw can become tired and strained from constantly tensing, and this directly effects the TMJ, or temporomandibular joints. These are the hinges in your jaw located in front of your ears. A distressed TMJ can lead to jaw pain, as well as chronic headaches and earaches. Many migraine sufferers are actually dealing with a stiff jaw and don’t even know it.
Bruxism can start your teeth on a destructive cycle. Over time, the enamel becomes worn down and the teeth actually get shorter. This can change how your jaw comes together, also altering how your teeth fit with one another. A change in the alignment of your jaw as little as 3 millimeters can drastically shift how your teeth interact with one another. This can cause additional friction and damage between the teeth because they are touching and rubbing in places they are not meant to. This, in addition to the persistent grinding, can lead to a complete breakdown of your dental structure and jaw alignment.
Despite this litany of issues, full-mouth reconstruction with your dentist in Chaska can help restore your smile.
A full-mouth reconstruction involves using multiple restorative and cosmetic procedures to completely repair teeth suffering from a variety of trauma due to damage or decay.
In the case of someone who has severely worn down teeth, the first step is to figure out where the teeth are clashing due to the jaw being out of alignment. Dr. Meschke or Dr. Swingdorf will start by taking a series of bite impressions to see how your teeth fit together. They will then use these impressions to figure out what is the proper alignment for your jaw. This will help your teeth come together correctly and prevent them for wearing down.
Your doctors will then lengthen the crowns of your teeth by contouring your gums using a soft tissue laser. This will create room for the restorations that will repair your worn down dental structure. After you have healed from the gum contouring, they will use a series of wax models of your restorations to figure out exactly how to align your bite and give you the desired appearance. They will also use these models to determine what type of restorations they will need, whether they be crowns, veneers, or implants. Once they have figured this out, you will come in and have your final restorations placed.
Once your final restorations are in place, they may recommend a nightguard to prevent you from grinding your teeth in the future. This is a small device that you would wear in your mouth each night to bed that will place a physical barrier between your teeth and prevent your jaw from clenching. They can also recommend a variety of stress management exercises to help you stop grinding your teeth during the day.
The entire process can take multiple visits over the course of a few months, but the results will be dramatic and set you on a path for long-term dental health. Your teeth will be fully restored both medically and cosmetically. Previously, severely worn down teeth were thought to be untreatable, but now they can be completely restored at the Chaska Dental Center. If you frequently grind your teeth and it has worn them down, please give us a call today so we can start helping you.