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Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry
Las Vegas, Nevada

Affectionate Dental Care
Henry H. Kim  D.D.S.,
F.I.C.O.I., F.M.I.I.I.


5680 W. Flamingo Road Suite A
Las Vegas, NV 89103
Tel: 702.876.3222
Fax: 702.876.4422
hkdds@hotmail.com
Complete Cosmetic Dentistry
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Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry
Las Vegas, Nevada
Dr. Henry Kim
Affectionate Dental Care

Excellence in Cosmetic Dentistry

Oral Health Topics:
 

BRUSHING ROOT CANAL MOUTH RINSE INFECTION CONTROL TOOTHACHE BAD BREATH
FLOSSING DRY MOUTH DENTURE CARE WOMEN AND TEETH PREGNANCY ORAL PIERCING
SEALANTS GUM DISEASE FLUORIDE FACT DENTAL EMERGENCY TMJ PAIN COLD SORE
TOBACCO X-RAY MOUTH GUARD WISDOM TEETH BRUXISM  

Bruxism:

 

 

 

 

What is Bruxism?

 

Bruxism is the technical term for grinding and clenching of the teeth that may cause facial pain. People who grind and clench their teeth, called bruxers, unintentionally bite down too hard at inappropriate times, such as in their sleep. In addition to grinding teeth, bruxers also may bite their fingernails, pencils and chew the inside of their cheek. People usually aren't diagnosed with bruxism until it is too late, as many people don't realize they have the habit. Others mistakenly believe that their teeth must touch at all times. About one in three people suffer from bruxism, which can easily be treated by a dentist.

 

Can bruxism cause harm?

 

People who have otherwise healthy teeth and gums can clench so often and so hard that over time their teeth become sensitive. They experience jaw pain, tense muscles and headaches along with excessive wear on their teeth. Forceful biting when not eating may cause the jaw to move out of proper balance.

 

What are the signs?

 

When a person has bruxism, the tips of the teeth look flat. Teeth are worn down so much that the enamel is rubbed off, exposing the inside of the tooth, which is called dentin. When exposed, dentin may cause the tooth to become sensitive. Bruxers may experience pain in their temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which may manifest as popping and clicking of the jaw. Tongue indentations are another sign of clenching.

 

Stress and certain personality types are at the root of bruxism. Anger, pain, nervousness and frustration can trigger bruxing. People who are aggressive, competitive and hurried also may be at a greater risk for bruxism.

 

What can be done about it?

 

During regular dental visits, the dentist automatically checks for physical signs of bruxism. If the dentist or patient notices signs of bruxism, the condition may be observed over several visits to be sure of the problem before recommending and starting therapy.

 

The objective of therapy is to get the bruxer to change behavior by learning how to rest the tongue, teeth and lips properly. When some people become aware of their problem, simply advising them to rest their tongue upward with teeth apart and lips shut may be enough to change their behavior and relieve discomfort. However, the dentist can make a plastic mouth appliance, such as a night guard, that's worn to absorb the force of biting. This appliance can prevent future damage to the teeth and helps change the patient's destructive behavior.

 

If teeth grinding is due to stress, a bruxer may be able to prevent the problem with counseling or strategies that promote relaxation, such as exercise and meditation. Biofeedback is used to treat daytime clenchers by using an electronic device to measure muscle activity and to teach patients how to reduce muscle activity when the biting force becomes too great.



For the best in smile make over in Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson area of Nevada, contact our cosmetic dentistry professionals. Schedule your free consultation today!  702.876.3222

© 2005 Henry Kim DDS


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