As an orthodontist, it’s easy for me to tell when a patient has been grinding his or her teeth. Sometimes they are surprised that I can tell without having to ask and want to know what the giveaway is.
I tell them that their teeth are completely worn down!! I show them pictures of their teeth and they can see that where their teeth used to have bumps, they are now completely worn flat.
I think sometimes patients don’t understand the severity of teeth grinding and why it’s so important to stop it.
When I talk to patients about teeth grinding, I often tell them the story about my experience with teeth grinding.
When I was 23 I was grinding my teeth so severely that I literally cracked a tooth and had to get a filling. The back part of my tooth actually just broke off!
After the filling, I eventually needed a crown on the tooth. And eventually, because I had cracked it so bad and was in so much pain from it, I had to get a root canal on it.
This cycle of bad luck continued and I had to have crowns redone on it multiple times at great discomfort and great expense to me. On and on the problems with this tooth went until recently when I had to get it pulled.
Now, I am going to get an implant to replace that missing tooth. All because of grinding!
So take it from me as someone who’s been there: get it taken care of! Come in and talk to me about ways to get the teeth grinding to stop or ways to mediate the effects, such as a mouth guard.
I promise, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of trouble if you do!
Drs Cater and Galante