Kranky in Kendall! My husband grinds his teeth at night. When I nudge him, he gets very upset and irritated, complaining I woke him from a sound sleep – Really? He is crabby because his jaw hurts. He is grumpy because his nocturnal habits were interrupted and guess who is the brunt of his unhappiness? Me! I read your articles all the time and am hopeful you can help me, ye ole tooth, ‘er soothsayer!
To the rescue. I am here bearing information on this common problem of which most people are unaware. It is called bruxism.
This habit is performed unconsciously, usually at night. When the pattern is repeated night after night, soreness and tenderness usually result, exacerbating the pain. These tendencies create numerous oral problems, including wearing down the teeth – in some cases to just above the gum line, which is not pretty, especially if they are the front teeth. The clenching can even lead to fractured teeth. In severe situations, the occlusion will need to be rebuilt and the destroyed teeth will need crowns.
Have your husband look in the mirror. If he sees flat or chipped surfaces, then we would recommend impressions (bite registration) for the construction of a night guard – a hard, clear acrylic appliance that fits on the upper teeth and is usually worn at night while sleeping. This should solve the problem and calm will be restored in Kendall.
My dentist told me I have a cavity and my tooth is abscessed and I will need a root canal. I am dumbfounded! Not only was there no explanation as to how this happened; there was no discussion as to why it happened. I had no symptoms, but out of the blue – wham! Please help me understand!
Apparently, the cavity has been eating away at your tooth structure. As the defect progresses deeper into the tooth, it affects the pulp of the tooth, which is the nerve and blood supply keeping the tooth alive. The living part of the tooth then becomes infected with bacteria and travels down to the apex, or bottom, of your tooth into your jawbone. If this is left untreated, it will destroy the bone.
Your dentist or an endodontist, a specialist who performs this procedure, will clean out the infection inside the tooth (pulp and canal in the roots) and seal it off. This saves the tooth and prevents further infection in your body.
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