Fractured Tooth

Tooth fracture is not an uncommon problem. Most people attribute it to eating – biting down, hitting something hard and fracturing a tooth. While this can occur, there’s a much bigger problem which I have seen widely. It can occur during the night or during the day even while not chewing. The vast-majority of people clench or grind their teeth even though they don’t know it. These forces can be extreme and can cause fracture on the tooth that has no decay and even no filling.

I have been practicing dentistry since 1973 and have seen this problem but nothing on the scope I’ve seen lately. Higher stress levels seem to cause people to clench and grind their teeth with greater intensity and frequency. Sometimes the fracture is above the gum line and a wall or corner of the tooth breaks. However; sometimes the fracture goes below the gum line down into the root. In this case there is no alternative but to remove the tooth.

Sometimes large fillings can predispose to fracture above the gum line. This can be prevented by restoring the tooth with a crown which protects it from the outside. However, root fractures are another concern and even a crown cannot prevent them. Of course not all fractures can be prevented, but there is something you can do to help lessen the possibility of fractures.

Wearing a guard or device that helps prevent the teeth from coming together with extreme force can be a big help. This is particularly useful at night when a patient is unaware that they are grinding their teeth. Over the years I have also been the patient suffering from problems related to clenching and grinding. Although I never fractured a tooth, I have many other problems relating to this phenomenon. There are many devices available to treat this problem — horseshoe devices, posterior pads, etc. The scope of the problem and the devices available caused me to create a new device which I think is superior to anything else. Virtually all the other devices for this problem are simply plastic between the teeth — they do nothing to treat the problem at its source- the muscles. My product, GrindReliefN, is smaller, covering only the first 6 to 8 anterior teeth and can be worn on the upper or lower teeth. Unlike all other devices, it has a central bar which causes the most force to be at the upper and lower mid-line at the same time. This creates a nerve stimulus somewhat of a biofeedback that affects the muscles causing them to contract with 60% or more reduction in bite force. You can simulate this force by taking a pencil, putting it between your back teeth and biting down, then with the same pencil between your upper and lower front teeth at the mid-line, bite and you simply can’t bite with as much force. This device is not just plastic between your teeth, it has science behind it and is the best way to treat the problem at its source — the muscles. It has a three-year wear guarantee and performs as well or better than expensive professional devices at a fraction of the cost.
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