When bruxism (teeth grinding) occurs for a prolonged period of time, teeth will begin to wear down and may eventually break. As a matter of fact, multiple dental crown restorations are a likely eventuality for any teeth grinding habit that goes untreated. But what about tooth decay? Is it possible that bruxism can increase the risk of cavities? Your Brighton dentist, Dr. Thomas Villani, answers this intriguing and important question below.
Teeth Grinding and Enamel
Saying that teeth grow weaker as a result of untreated bruxism does not quite describe the full extent of what happens when teeth are forced to scrape against one another night after night. The continual friction begins to erode tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of teeth. Over time, teeth may lose significant amounts of enamel, making them structurally weaker. Without enamel, teeth are able to withstand less force than before, and eventually, they may give in to the extreme force generated by bruxism.
However, enamel loss is not only problematic for a tooth’s structural integrity. It also makes teeth more vulnerable to the bacteria responsible for tooth decay. Enamel, as the hardest substance in the human body, makes for a sturdy defense against the ever-present assaults of bacteria. Dentin (the layer beneath enamel), however, is softer and porous, an easy target for bacteria. Thus, when enamel is lost, tooth decay may occur much more rapidly, as bacteria can assault dentin directly without having to go through enamel.
Bruxism Treatment in Brighton
If you suspect that you may be grinding your teeth, be sure to mention your concerns to Dr. Villani. He can examine your teeth for any signs of bruxism and provide you with a dental mouthguard if any symptoms are present. The dental mouthguard will not allow your teeth to scrape against one another, thereby protecting them from damage.
About Brighton Family Dental Group: Brighton Family Dental Group is located in Brighton MA. Featuring experienced dentists and an excellent range of in-office treatments, Brighton Family Dental Group is a great destination for any member of your family who is in need of dental care. Patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation with Dr. Thomas Villani by calling (617) 562-5210.