Bruxism can have a disastrous effect on teeth. In fact, if left untreated, this condition can cause teeth to deteriorate to such an extent that many sufferers are forced to replace broken and damaged teeth with dentures or dental implants. However, though the teeth have been replaced, the condition remains, especially in times of stress and anxiety. Night time grinding and day time clenching, which is more prevalent in women, can cause dentures to fail. More worryingly than that; however, is the knowledge that this constant pressure exerted on the gums can speed up bone loss. Bone loss then leads to ill-fitting dentures and facial shrinkage.
If you grind your teeth at night or clench during the day, you should take steps to ensure that your dentures, and more importantly—your jawbone, don't rapidly deteriorate.
Remove Your Dentures When You Grind Most
Being aware of your grinding or clenching problem is the first crucial step as this means you likely know at which times your bruxism is at its worst. To combat nocturnal grinding, take your dentures out before going to bed. While bruxism has been linked to stress, dentures are also known to cause bruxism or exacerbate existing symptoms.
Malocclusion, or a misaligned bite, is also known to cause bruxism. For instance, if you have a full upper denture but natural teeth in your lower jaw with a partial denture, your bite will likely be misaligned. This will cause your jaw to attempt to locate a favourable and less stressful position, leading to grinding and clenching.
Likewise, diurnal bruxism (daytime bruxism) is commonly experienced during working hours, in periods of concentration, or at times of great stress. Remove your dentures at these times to alleviate the pressure on them.
Have Your Dentist Create a Custom Mouth guard
Some people prefer to keep their dentures in at night. In this case, request that your dentist create a custom night guard to slip over your dentures before you sleep.
These guards are also known as "bite raising guards" and also work by holding your jaw in a more comfortable position as you sleep. This not only puts less strain on your jaw muscles, but also protects your dentures and jawbone from damage. Similarly, you can wear these guards during the day, in your office for instance, as removing them while at work might be less than convenient.
Talk to your dentist about your worries. They can take an impression of your dentures and create a custom guard to protect your dentures. They may also reinforce your dentures to help them better stand up to the unnatural pressures experienced during bruxing bouts. Dental implants too may be a sturdier and more reliable option if your dentures continually break.