Dental Crowns & Tooth Bridges
Chronic jaw clenching and grinding one’s teeth is called bruxism. While it can happen any time of day, it often occurs at night causing an individual to wake up with any number of symptoms including jaw pain, headaches, and sore teeth that may feel loose. Although, stress and anxiety are the most common causes of bruxism there may be other contributing factors such as a sleep disorder, an abnormal bite, as well as teeth that are missing or poorly aligned.
To alleviate the symptoms of bruxism, wearing a night guard while sleeping is frequently recommended. This appliance is designed to fit over the teeth and to keep the jaws slightly apart. Wearing a night guard prevents a number of damaging events, including muscle strain, excessive pressure on the jaw joint (the TMJ), and such dental damage as chipped or cracked teeth resulting from the teeth grinding against each other.
In addition to preventing damage to the soft and hard tissues surrounding the orofacial cavity, a custom night guard fabricated at the dental office can help curb a bruxism habit and give the wearer a better night’s sleep.
Bridges are generally used to replace one or more missing teeth and “bridge” the gap where teeth are missing. Gaps from missing teeth can eventually cause the remaining teeth to shift or rotate which can result in a bad bite, gum disease or even TMJ disorders.
Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. Called abutments, these teeth serve as anchors for the bridge. Similar to crowns, porcelain or ceramic bridges are typically recommended since this material can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.
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