We all remember how the terror of a loose tooth was offset by the subsequent visit from the Tooth Fairy. However, we only get one set of adult permanent teeth, and losing one is hardly a cause for celebration. Proper oral hygiene is the most important part of caring for your teeth, but minimizing and repairing damage before it gets worse is crucial.
Habits that damage teeth
Do you like to chew ice, hard candies, or the end of your pencil? If so, stop – you’re damaging your teeth! Your jaw muscles can exert over 200 pounds of muscular force, subjecting the areas where teeth meet to thousands of pounds of pressure. Molars are intended to grind fibrous foods like vegetables, not gnaw wood. Teeth aren’t tools, either – don’t open things with them. It’s possible to chip, crack, or break teeth by chewing ice and non-food items. If left unrepaired, damage worsens, and can necessitate extensive restorative work. It’s best to keep as much of your existing tooth structure as possible.
Repairing damage done by bruxism
Are you a bruxer (tooth grinder or clencher)? Nighttime tooth grinding, known as bruxism, causes damage and excessive wear. It can also lead to misalignment of the jaw muscles, called temporomandibular joint dysfunction (try saying that five times fast!) Often abbreviated as TMJ or TMD, symptoms of this disorder include headaches, neck and back pain, ear and jaw popping, and tooth sensitivity. Bruxism can damage dental work as well as teeth, necessitating restoration or replacement. Dr. Fondriest addresses both the pain and damage from grinding, and provides minimally invasive TMJ therapy individually tailored to your needs.
Damaged teeth from bruxism should be treated as soon as possible. Don’t delay – call us today at (847) 234-0517 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fondriest. Our office serves patients in the greater Chicago area.