Normal healthy teeth.

Teeth are normally rounded with little wear facets. Teeth do not normally come together during normal functions like eating and speaking. Since enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in the human body, it requires a great deal of stress to get worn down. Constant teeth grinding will wear out your enamel over time.

The following images of continuous teeth grinding show the results of this stress:

Signs of teeth grinding.

Notice the decreased height of the teeth and the very flat surface compared to the longer rounded teeth in the initial picture. This is a progressive process and most people don’t realize they are wearing down their teeth until they are evaluated and examined by a dentist.

People who are grinding their teeth may be asymptomatic or wake up with headaches, toothache, and/or jaw pain. Grinding also damages dental restorations as very few man made materials are as strong as your natural teeth. Grinding can be mild and occasional or aggressive and frequent.

As the enamel is worn down, the underlying dentin that becomes exposed is less mineralized. This causes some patients to become sensitive to temperature changes and pressure.

Your dentist may suggest a nightguard that should be worn while sleeping. This is a custom fit appliance that is made by your dentist that slips over your teeth in one jaw, preventing contact with the opposing jaw. This prevents stress being placed on the TMJ joint and teeth and prevents further wear on your dentition. The following is a few types of nightguards:

Example of Clear Nightguards

Contact our office today to schedule your consultation with our Thousand Oaks dentist.