Did you know that your dentist can detect any stress that you may have in your life?

No, your dentist does not have to be a physiologist, magician, or a psychic to tell. All we have to do is simply take a look at your teeth. A close look at the wear patterns on your teeth can give us a good indication of how you are handling stress in your life.

Many people deal with stress by clenching their teeth together or by a process called bruxism. Bruxism is not only the clenching motion of bringing the teeth together in an up and down direction, but bruxism is also the side to side grinding motion that many people do when they feel stressed. Good scientific estimates indicate that close to a third of the American population does some type of clenching or grinding their teeth. Dentists can easily see the effects of these pathological conditions by checking and observing the wear patterns on your teeth.

You may have also noticed some of the symptoms of grinding and clenching your teeth. If you have sensitivity to biting and pressure, teeth that crack easily and often, crowns that keep falling out after they have been cemented in, persistent headaches and migraines that never seem to go away, can all be related to this disease called bruxism. Many people don’t notice that they do this on a daily basis. Many times this only happens when a person is sleeping and they have absolutely no idea what is going on until their next visit to the dentist.

This is a slow developing problem. Some people do not take it very seriously. But, I can tell you that after 30 plus years in dental practice and observing patients, this can cause significant damage to a person’s teeth and oral cavity. I have seen cases where the patients have left this unchecked. A few years later they’ve needed root canals and crowns on teeth that do not even have a cavity on them because the teeth are ground down because of this grinding problem.

An easy solution and the first call to action is to make the patient an appliance to wear during the sleeping hours that will absorb all of the grinding forces. In this way, the teeth are left completely unharmed which can save a lot of difficulty later on in life. It sometimes will relieve headaches and facial pains, and may help with clicking and cracking in the jaws.

People generally wear this appliance a few nights a week while they sleep and generally see the appliance being worn down immediately. People use these appliances until they have ground them down to a nub and then they will have to be replaced.

If you have any of these symptoms mentioned above or wake up with tired, aching jaws every morning, you are definitely a candidate for this kind of appliance therapy. It is reasonable in cost compared to the cost of having major dental work down the line.

For a free consultation, please call our office at 440- 892-1810. We are willing to help you in any way we can. As always, our goal is to help you develop and maintain a healthy smile.

-Dr. Malcmacher

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