Bruxism is the clenching together of both the upper and lower teeth. Clenching can cause pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other surrounding structures of the jaw, and can cause jaw joint disorders, headaches, neck pain, jaw pain, ear pain, tense muscles, and excessive wear on the teeth. Collectively, these symptoms are referred to as "TMJ" problems (temporomandibular joint). Bruxism can cause damage to the temporomandibular joint (the hinge that connects the lower jaw to the upper jaw) if not treated. Bruxism is a common problem, it is estimated that 30-40 million Americans are affected by it.
A large number of people who clench also tend to grind their teeth. Grinding is when you slide your teeth over each other in a back and forth, sideways movement. Often the grinding is a subconscious behavior that is not realized by the bruxer. A partner or significant other is often the first to hear the noise of the bruxer's teeth grinding at night. If not treated, excessive grinding can wear down your teeth. The cause of bruxism is not completely known, but many agree that stress and anxiety play a major role.
BRUXISM, Treatment of
Stress reduction and anxiety management are methods used to treat bruxism and reduce the symptoms, but a dental night guard is the most commonly used treatment method. A night guard is a horseshoe-shaped, retainer-like, plastic appliance with shallow borders that can be worn on either the top or the bottom arch. It is designed to protect the teeth from the pressure of clenching and grinding by providing a protective cushion between the upper and lower teeth. A night guard can be a simple, and affordable solution for protecting your teeth and jaws from the damaging effects of bruxism. When properly made, it can help reduce clenching, grinding, and TMJ problems by helping to relax the muscles in the jaw.
SNORE GUARDS - Silent Nite®
An estimated 80 million people in North America snore. Husbands, wives, and children considered, as many as 160 million people are negatively affected by the sound of snoring. The snore guard our office offers is an affordable custom-made snore prevention device that is flexible, thin and comfortable for the patient. The snore guard has proven an excellent clinical success for preventing disturbing and unhealthy snoring.
Endodontics, more commonly known as a root canal, is the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the dental pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth). The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, which are important in tooth development. A root canal treatment is a safe and effective means of saving the original damaged tooth.
This may include specialized treatment of the "gum" tissues. Periodontal diseases can be simple gum inflammation or more serious, resulting in damage to soft tissue and/or bone that support the teeth. Teeth may be lost in the worst-case scenario. The type of treatment required will vary based on the extent of the gum disease, from Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing), Flap Surgery, to Bone and Tissue Grafts.
Dr. Holcroft has a vast knowledge in specialty dentistry and can provide many Oral Surgery Services, including placement of dental implants. We also have an excellent network of Specialists in our area to refer to if needed.