We have all had questions about it, whether we have known someone with it or for ourselves- BAD BREATH. We want to know what causes it and how to fix it. Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by several factors. Some are dental related and can be fixed very easily.
At our dental office in Midtown Houston, when we talk to patients about needing a nightguard for protection of their teeth, I would say more than half of them look at me and say, “Not me…. I don’t do that” or “I know I won’t wear that thing.” When in reality, most of us do some sort of extra parafunctional habits that cause noticeable damage on teeth. We can diagnose this during our exams. And anytime we see the wear and tear, it is our responsibility to bring it to our patient’s attention, so they know how it can be prevented.
Whether during the day or at night, grinding and clenching can cause severe damage to teeth. And yes, clenching is just as damaging as grinding. It can cause holes in the tops of our teeth called “wear facets”. It can cause recession of our gums, bone loss around our teeth, and most commonly it can cause chipping and breaking of our teeth, fillings, and crowns. When we excessively wear away our enamel, bone or gums- we lose it forever, it does not grow back. The only way to replace it is with surgical procedures. These bad habits can also contribute to TMD issues, frequent headaches, neck muscle tension, tightness and fatigue in our cheeks. This is why it is so important to stop our grinding and clenching habits as early as possible.
And how do we stop our clenching and grinding habits, you ask?? With an occlusal splint; which is a fancy name for a nightguard. This is an appliance you wear at night to help protect your teeth but also retrain your muscles, so we see decrease in symptoms overtime. It will not re-grow the damage that has occurred already, but it will make sure we are not causing any more damage.
Call our dental office in Midtown Houston if you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment: 713-942-0101
This is example of what can happen if we don’t get into a night guard. This tooth on the left was cracked to the root and had to be extracted and will have an implant placed. A very expensive treatment when compared to the preventative guard. The right side is an example of severe wear and “honeycombing”.