You would have noticed a chip or two on your teeth and brushed it off. It had happened once before but it was too small for you to pay attention to it for more than five minutes. The next thing you know you have a noticeable greyness at the edges of your front teeth and a yellow hue on the edges of your bottom teeth.
You have been grinding your teeth for quite a while.
Here's a good analogy: Imagine staring into a field of a million black bunny rabbits. If you had one grey bunny amongst the million it is very hard to spot it. In fact if you had 100 grey bunnies scattered amongst the million, you may still find it difficult to spot them at one glance. On the other hand, if I placed all the grey bunnies together in one spot, all of a sudden the grey bunnies become apparent to you.
When people grind their teeth, It takes a certain amount of damage, in multiple areas, before the impact of the grinding becomes apparent to them.
Our dentists are trained to look out for unnatural teeth wear. We inspect your facial shape, jaw muscles, jaw joint, your history of previous dental fillings and even your lifestyle. It is like playing Sherlock Holmes in and outside of your mouth, piecing little clues here and there to figure out what is going on.
“But I don’t feel anything”
Because jaw joint and muscle wear occurs so gradually, our body is still able to cope with this wear up to a certain point. It is not uncommon for treated patients to report how much better they feel and how unaware they were of the pains their bodies were actually going through.
So I grind my teeth, why does it matter?
A lot of these wear and tears are irreversible. It matters because our teeth are what keeps our jaws open.
Our teeth maintain our facial height. It maintains adequate spacing between our jaw joints and adequate strength of our jaw muscles. This means it gives us a good-looking profile, prevents our jaw joint from squashing onto nerves and facial muscles from cramping/shrinking, hence avoiding a lot of facial pain. Yes, that’s right. Facial pain does not only come from a toothache.
What can I do about it?
If you have any unnatural tooth wear, we need to figure out how it is happening and when it is happening. Stopping further wear is important. Unlike early humans who only live to a ripe old age of 30, we need our teeth to last till we are 100. Some may not want to live that long, but I am sure everyone would agree if we do get to live to that age, we want to still be able to eat our favorite foods and be as pain free as possible.
Contact us if you are concerned of your tooth wear so we can help you before it is too late.