While bruxism, which is clenching and grinding of the teeth, is known to cause fractures to the teeth, it can also hurt the gums. Therefore, bruxism can present a major dilemma when it comes to maintaining both the gums and teeth.
How Bruxism Can Damage the Gums
Grinding or clenching the teeth can be damaging to both the teeth and gums as well as to the joints and neck and jaw bones. Some people have even dislocated a joint because of bruxism. Therefore, any damage to the teeth does not stop there. You can also harm your gums if you clench and grind your teeth at night while sleeping. That is when bruxism normally occurs. In fact, most people are not diagnosed with bruxism until they chip or crack one or more teeth. The condition can lead to gum recession as well, as excess pressure is placed on the gums by the motion exerted by grinding the teeth. In turn, bruxism can also create deep gingival pockets where bacteria collect and pull the gums further back. When this happens, the chance for infection increases and so does tooth and gum sensitivity.
How Gums Damaged from Bruxism Are Treated
If your gums have receded or have become ultra-sensitive because of bruxism, usually a mouth guard, for wear at night, will be prescribed. Innovative periodontal procedures can also be used to treat gum recession. For example, we can perform traditional gum grafting, which is time-tested and effective. This type of grafting entails harvesting tissue from elsewhere in the mouth and grafting and affixing it to the recessed area. Another newer procedure is called The Pinhole Surgical Technique™. This procedure requires that a small pinhole incision be placed in the recessed area. Special periodontal tools gently push the gum tissue down while slim collagen strips hold the tissue in place. Recovery is simple and the treatment is effective as soon as it is completed.
If you would like to discuss any treatments for gum recession, we are here to answer your inquiries. Because everybody is different, we can help you with any problems with bruxism or damaged gums. Give us a call today so you can learn more about the therapies recommended for bruxism and/or gum recession and inflammation.