There are many reasons or causes for teeth to fracture. Typically, most people think teeth fracture because of chewing on something too hard or hitting an object you didn’t know was there. I have been practicing dentistry for over 40 years and I’m seeing more and more tooth fractures. Many times people will tell me that they were chewing on bread or mashed potatoes and the tooth fragment came out. Actually what has happened is the tooth was fractured from something previous, and the soft food removes the tooth fragments.
My experience has been that the vast majorities of people clench or grind their teeth, but many don’t realize that they do. Clenching or grinding mostly occurs at night but sometimes occurs during the day under extreme stress. These forces can be extreme, and when combined with a tooth that is heavily filled, it is not uncommon to see a tooth fracture.
Lately I have seen a lot of teeth that are what we call virgin — no decay or filling — and yet there is a fracture. In most cases it is a corner or wall of the tooth that fractures above the gum line, sometimes the fracture extends below the gum line going down into the root. When this occurs there is no option but to remove the tooth. Removing and restoring teeth can help prevent the fractures; also replacing large fillings with a crown which covers the outside can help prevent the fractures above the gum line. If enough force is produced, even with an excellent fitting crown, fracture down into the root is possible.
I have found the best way to prevent some of these fractures is to wear a device — a protective guard that helps prevent the teeth from coming together with extreme force. While there are many devices available over-the-counter and from your dentist, most of them are just plastic worn between the teeth that don’t do anything to stop the extreme muscle activity, and that is the problem.
The professional devices can cost $500 – $700 or more. While over-the-counter devices are much less expensive, they are also inadequate and they wear out easily, and do nothing to stop the activity that causes the problem.
Recently a new device has come to market called GrindReliefN. It is available online and at select retail locations for a reasonable cost. This device is smaller, covering only the front 6 to 8 teeth and can be worn on the upper or lower front teeth. It has a central bar which, when the patient bites down, it directs the most force between the upper and lower front teeth at the mid-line. This creates a nerve stimulus that stops the muscle clenching, reducing it by 60% or more.
The GrindReliefN is the only over-the-counter device that meets or exceeds the performance of the professional appliances at a fraction of the cost. Over my 40 years of practicing dentistry I have made many devices for the treatment of clenching and grinding. By a wide margin, the GrindReliefN is the most effective, wearable and successful device I have ever made.
A simple pencil test can demonstrate how the device works. If you take a pencil and put it between your back teeth and bite down, you can generate a tremendous amount of force. However, if you take the same pencil, put it between your upper and lower front teeth at the mid-line and bite down, you’ll see you cannot come near generating the same amount of force. The device is intended to be worn at night but, under extreme stress, it can be helpful during the day also. If you want to avoid tooth fractures and the pain and cost associated with them, GrindReliefN is the solution.