At All About Smiles Family Dentistry, we strive to provide the most conservative treatment possible in every unique situation. Oral appliances are a great choice for simple, non-invasive treatment of a variety of conditions. Each appliance we prescribe is custom-crafted especially for you, regardless of application.
Whether treating sleep teeth grinding, obstructive sleep apnea, bite problems, or other joint disorders, appliance therapy may be a valuable complement to your case. Dr. Frances Golly utilizes a variety of innovative designs hand-selected for your treatment goals and preferences.
When chewing normally, our teeth experience brief intervals of contact, and only touch for about five minutes each day. Even with such little contact, slight amounts of wear are common, and bite edges may chip.
Sometimes teeth may develop a flattened, worn appearance. Even x-rays of young patients may reveal unusually thin layers of enamel, as if sandpaper has been rubbed along the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This level of wear should not occur from a few minutes of daily chewing!
You Don’t Even Know
Patients may develop a subconscious habit of grinding their teeth during the day or at night. In most cases, grinding occurs only during sleep, for a few seconds at a time. If you find yourself waking up with a sore jaw or a headache, there’s a good chance you are grinding your teeth during the night. Sometimes, enlarged jaw muscles may develop on the sides of the face from this repetitive action. Ounce for ounce, these muscles are the strongest in the body, giving them the power to do a lot of unnecessary damage.
Teeth grinding not only wears down teeth and strains overworked muscles but can also damage the jaw joints. Such damage may lead to arthritic changes, chronic pain, and popping or clicking. Once present, reversing these conditions may be impossible.
Avoiding Irreversible Damage
If you wake up with a sore jaw or headaches, or have noticed chips or flattening in your teeth, we recommend you schedule a consultation with Dr. Frances Golly as soon as possible. Early treatment can limit damage, and a carefully calibrated night guard can eliminate symptoms while protecting your enamel.
If you notice daytime habits of clenching or grinding, seek treatment. Dr. Frances Golly will analyze your bite to ensure your teeth are moving properly against each other when you chew. Eliminating the strain on your jaw and teeth caused by clenching or grinding as soon as possible can save you valuable time and money spent in the dental chair.