Odds are great, that indeed you do need a custom occlusal guard. We seem to be replacing dental decay with broken teeth as the leading problem in dentistry. Improved education, access to healthcare, utilization of fluoride and an increased value placed on attractive, healthy teeth are all playing a role in drastically reducing the rate of dental decay, or cavities. At the same time, increased stress appears to be increasing the number of people we see with evidence of premature wear on their teeth. When you come in for an exam, we evaluate your teeth to see how much of your tooth’s enamel is missing and if you have any evidence that your teeth are beginning to crack so we can determine your risk of breaking your teeth. Although it is not yet the number one problem we treat, it is quickly becoming one of the most common problems we see.
– Parafunctional habits: bruxism (grinding), clenching, or object biting (ice, nails, pens). These can occur for a number of reasons, including:
Medications: levodopa, fluoxetine, lithium, citalopram, etc.
– Bite interference due to:
Natural tooth position
Restorations that are “high” or unpolished porcelain rubbing against natural tooth structure.
Shifting tooth position from periodontal disease
– Missing teeth – spaces in your dentition will put more pressure than normal on the remaining teeth. This is most noticeable with your molars and other posterior teeth.
Excessive gum chewing
Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease
– Developmental dental defects –enamel is thin or weak