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Bruxism, Teeth Grinding & Tooth Wear

The lecture helped with the basic etiology of tooth wear. Wear patterns on a person’s tooth can be caused by several different factors.
· There is much research that has occurred over several decades regarding tooth wear.

· As research has progressed the thought on why grinding occurs has shifted. At times, we have thought it was due to poor alignment of teeth and interferences, stress, and muscle issues. The most current theory for why this occurs is due to “micro-arousals” that occur while sleeping. Brain or heart activity can trigger a grinding function in the jaw. The brain arouses the heart, and then the suprahyoid muscle, then the temporalis and masseter muscles, and then bruxism occurs.

· There can be chemical (erosion) and physical (attrition) causes of wear.

· The incidence of grinding while awake can be as high as 20%.

· It is often possible to tell the difference between attrition and erosion, but it is difficult, if not impossible, to tell the difference between different types of erosion patterns.

· Acid reflux and bulimia can cause erosive wear.

· Porcelain crowns or bridges or veneers or implant restorations (crowns or bridges) contacting a natural tooth can also cause wear on the opposing dentition.