Teeth Grinding & Erosion

Even though we've come a long way with dental restoration technologies, nothing compares to your preserving your natural smile. At our practice, we encourage patients to take preventative measures to protect their teeth. This is why we encourage our patients to seek help if they grind their teeth at night or during the day

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition in which an individual clenches, grinds, or gnashes their teeth. Most cases of bruxism occurred during sleep, although it can occur when you're awake.

Gnashing and clenching of the teeth is a result of excessive activity of the masseter muscles and/or stretching of masticatory muscles or lateral movements of the lower jaw without dental contact.

The symptoms of bruxism

Common symptoms of bruxism include pain in the temporomandibular joints and masticatory muscles, pathological dental abrasion, exposed cervical zones and enamel rupture.

Other symptoms include:

  • Waking up with a headache
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Snoring

Bruxism treatment

First appointment
Dr Vorster will conduct a thorough interview with you, asking about your lifestyle, oral health and general health.
He will examine the masticatory muscles very carefully. If you feel pain during the examination and Dr Vorster notices abnormal muscle growth in the mandible area and white lines on the cheeks, then it's highly likely that we are dealing with bruxism.
Next, we take an impression of both dental arches in order to make teeth models. We use the impressions to create special foil overlays. The foil overlays are used to precisely assess the quality of the occlusion, detect its irregularities and analyse the correctness of occlusion. The patient puts on the foil overlay for one night.

Second appointment
At the second visit, based on the analysis of the resulting staining on the foil overlay, future correction and treatment of the occlusion are planned. Treatment consists of raising the occlusion and the proper reconstruction of the patient’s old and damaged teeth, which is performed with accuracy and precision.
Dr Vorster perfectly recreates the correct morphology of the teeth, carefully rebuilding dental tubers and grooves. For reconstruction, he uses composite materials or, if necessary, he makes individual prosthetic crowns.
Dr Vorster does everything possible to ensure that the contacts between teeth are rebuilt so the teeth cannot abrade again. To strengthen the effects of treatment and reduce masticatory muscle tension, Dr Vorster prepares patients for a precise myopathic overlay to use as prescribed by a doctor.

Tooth Acid Erosion

Dental erosion is a common dental problem. Every time we eat or drink something acidic, the enamel on the teeth becomes softer for a short while and loses some mineral content. Usually, this saliva will cancel out this acidity in your mouth and get it back to its natural balance. However, if the acid attack happens frequently, your mouth doesn't get a chance to repair itself. As a result, tiny bits of enamel can be brushed away.

What is tooth acid erosion?

Dental erosion refers to the loss of the surface of the teeth due to acids you eat or drink or acids that come up from your stomach. These acids can dissolve the crystals that make up your teeth, leading to tooth surface loss. The acids can also soften the tooth surface, making it easier for them to be worn away by abrasion or tooth grinding.

The symptoms of Tooth Acid Erosion

Tooth discolouration. Healthy enamel appears whites, but dentin — the sensitive tissue located below the enamel — is yellow. If your teeth develop a yellow tinge, you may have acid erosion.

Change in tooth appearance. You may notice that your teeth look smaller or thinner than usual. The lower portion of your front teeth may also appear more transparent. Both these signs could be a sign of dental erosion.

Tooth sensitivity. When enamel wears away, the sensitive dentin becomes vulnerable. You might experience intense pain when consuming hot and cold foods and drinks.

Preventing Tooth Acid Erosion

Before providing any treatment, Dr Vorster may recommend one or more of the following lifestyle changes:

Avoid or limit acidic foods and beverages. If you do choose to have an acidic drink, use a straw. You can also enjoy citrus foods or drinks with high-calcium foods cheese and like to neutralize the acids.

Rinse your mouth with water. After consuming acidic foods and drinks, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

Don't brush straight after eating: Don't brush your teeth immediately after eating. Instead, wait at least 30 minutes before cleaning your teeth; this will ensure that you don't damage the enamel while it's in a weakened state.

Treatment

Dr Vorster may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

Remineralizing toothpaste: This kind of toothpaste can help strengthen your remaining enamel.

Dental restorations: If the erosion is severe, restorations like dental bonding can cover the damaged enamel and restore its appearance. These restorations can even change your teeth' shape for a more natural look.

In extreme cases, Dr Vorster might recommend a dental crown. Dental crowns cover the entire tooth, so they will hide severe cosmetic problems and protect the sensitive dentin.

Request Appointment

If you need a consultation or would like to make an appointment,
please use the form below or contact us on:
021 851 8123