Grind Your Teeth? Its Effect on Cosmetic Dentistry
The grinding of one’s teeth is called bruxism and happens as we sleep. You might have symptoms such as jaw pain and headaches, or no symptoms at all. This patient had no pain but was unhappy with how his teeth looked. He was convinced he never ground his teeth. Well, teeth don’t lie and this is an example of severe wear/bruxism. Happening over a period of years, he was left with worn, chipped teeth and a distorted smile.
The first step toward his new smile was to fit him with a mouthguard to protect his teeth while he slept. I did not want to fabricate porcelain crowns and watch them fracture also. After approximately one month of wearing the mouthguard, a compliance check was performed. The patient told me “you know, I might grind my teeth at night”. When we checked, we could see lines on the plastic mouthguard. I reminded him that after we fixed his teeth, he would have to be faithful and wear his mouthguard every night. This would prevent breakage of his new porcelain crowns. Porcelain is actually a glass and is prone to breakage, just like teeth.
By fabricating two porcelain crowns and contouring his lower anterior teeth, this patient was given the smile he wanted. His old worn teeth were given new life.