Tooth grinding is a major problem, not only in Farnham, Surrey. A patient came to see us at Time Dental for a comprehenisve dental examination and consultation. On discussing his lifestyle he seemed to have a lot of stress in his life. He had been made redundant form work and he also suffered from back problems and headaches.
On asssessing his mouth, his teeth had mutiple stress lines running through the majority of his teeth. He also had large cavities to the side of his teeth by the gum line. The reason why this type of cavity/hole develops is due to a heavy bite and tooth grinding. The enamel is much thinner on the tooth by the gum line than anywhere else. When the tooth is under alot of stress due to grinding/ bruxing, the tooth enamel shatters in this area. This leaves a classic v-shaped notch by the gum line. This can lead to sensitivity as well as tooth decay as the enamel protective layer is lost.
The first step is to protect and fill the holes up by the gum line. This is achieved by composite bonding. Once the tooth is anaesthetised, a white composite filling is placed in the cavity. Once this is cured the white filling is polished. The end result is an invisible filling by the gum line by composite bonding which looks and feels like a natural tooth.
In order to prevent reoccurance of cavities by the gum line (abfraction cavities) the cause of the cavities, which is the tooth grinding, must be addressed. The most effective way to reduce tooth grinding is to provide a biteguard/ splint. This is worn at night and helps to reduce the tension and muscle stress that tooth grinding can cause. Using this biteguard can also reduce tension headaches and reduce the risk of teeth and fillings fracturing.