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October 22, 2018 3 min read

- Dr. Ellis here for Oral Care Club. Talking about grinding your teeth. "What do I do, Doc? "I'm grinding my teeth and breaking "my teeth or rubbing my teeth flat "so my teeth are flat and then "I can't really grab into stuff. "I can't really chew through my steak.

"What do I do?" If you grind at night, it's very difficult because you're doing it subconsciously, and you can't very well change something that is subconscious in nature. So, grinding at night is something very difficult. Grinding during the day is something that's a little easier, because we can do all kinds of behavior modifications.

We set alarms on watches or whatever the case may be, to help you stop that habit you have. But, if you're grinding at night time, which is the focus of this video, basically what we do for people is we put them in a night guard. And it's a night guard that's specifically designed for grinders.

The problem is, is that when you grind your teeth, if you think of the gears, the gears in a machine, the gears in a watch, the way they get their traction is they have the teeth on the gears and the teeth on the gears interact and they push.

Well, if you take the gears of a watch or a machine, and you put them against a flat surface, they can't get any traction, this, they can't exert any power, any force. At night, when you grind your teeth, what you're doing is you're taking all the cusps, the grooves and the lumps and the bumps on all your teeth and you're putting them together. And that, in itself, is not necessarily that bad, but it's then when you go to turn, it's then when you go to force and it's the teeth on the teeth grinding against each other that then will break your teeth or grinding the teeth flat.

So, what you need to do is, we put, we recommend, night guards for people, specially designed night guards that we make here at my office, and any dentist can make them at their office, that fit very snuggley so that the grinding won't knock them off and there's no problem with choking in the middle of the night. But, that also has a flat surface so, they can be on the top or the bottom so that when your teeth come into your night guard and you go to push, that you then, the teeth just slip off.

And so, you're not getting any traction. Some of these night guards can be several hundred dollars a piece. But, breaking your tooth leads to root canals, crowns, which can cost thousands of dollars. So, getting a night guard is a much cheaper option, rather than breaking your teeth. So, if you find some way of being able to stop grinding your teeth in the middle of the night when you're not aware of what you're doing, please let us know here at Oral Care Club because we would love to know.

However, short of that, go ahead and get yourself a night guard that's got a flat surface, top or bottom, and that way, when you grind at night you're grinding on the plastic. Every couple of years, depending on how heavy of a grinder you are, you just need to replace that plastic piece. And then that will prevent you from breaking and/or stressing out your other teeth, so that you can avoid all the kinds of sensitivities and problems that come with that.