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Aster's avatar

Is daytime, continual teeth grinding always a sign of stress?

Asked by Aster (19974points) December 16th, 2012

My s/o has dental implants. He grinds his teeth all day long. I can hear it in an adjacent room. He broke something on his teeth and they fixed it but he’s still doing it. I know that all his growing up years the rule in the house was don’t upset your mother. The doctor said she must be humored or she could have another breakdown. Just go along with her remarks. She ended up terribly spoiled, irritable and coddled. He does not seem stressed out at all. But is this proof that he is?

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10 Answers

trailsillustrated's avatar

< is a dentist. Grinding is often associated with stress, but is not always the case. Young children often grind (called ‘bruxing or bruxism’ ) and these are most often well – adjusted children in normal families. I would encourage him to get a night guard, a device worn when sleeping to protect to teeth. This is especially important for someone with implants, as they are a post implanted into the bone, and stress such as grinding could shorten the life of implants. Good luck and don’t worry… he’s probably just fine, as far as stress.

Aster's avatar

@trailsillustrated thank you. His dentist said the mouthguard would cost $50 and he was outraged ! I bought one over Ebay but he won’t wear one. He won’t do anything that produces any discomfort or change in his habits whatsoever. I believe that he will experience a shortened life of his implants but he won’t agree until it happens. I can’t relate to his way of thinking he’s still in there grinding away. He has full mouth implants. Most dentists refused to pull all his teeth but , of course, he located one who agreed to do it.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Maybe you need to have a conversation with him, grinding rocks the teeth on the long axis which is what you don’t want with implants. I wonder that he was considered an implant candidate at all. And, I know many people operate just fine with dentures, but please maybe educate him on the downside of dentures. It’s out there. I guess you are going to have to watch his implants fail one by one, or help him deal with the gruesomeness of immediate dentures. (which by the way, will shorten his own lifespan, they don’t masticate food nearly as effectively as natural teeth). Good luck he sounds stubborn lol

hearkat's avatar

As expensive as dental implants are, $50 to protect them seems like a good investment.

I clench my teeth when I have stress or pain, and don’t realize I’m doing it until my jaw muscles start to spasm.

It sounds as though your partner’s habit is so deeply ingrained that he is unaware of it. Do you have a device the you could record him with to help him recognize the problem better?

Aster's avatar

Thanks so much but you can’t converse with him about his habits. In fact, he told me to not mention the grinding to him anymore. Not to say I don’t need lecturing too. Of course, $50 for the guard would be a sensible “investment” but he won’t have anything in his mouth when sleeping. He wants total and complete comfort when doing his favorite thing which is napping. It is indeed a myth that implants are just as good with mastication as normal teeth. I can definitely tell they are most certainly not. Reason he had them was he had no intention of rushing to dentists for the rest of his life over toothaches and/or a broken tooth. He wanted them gone. So did my father but he just had dentures which he wore for many decades and considered them a pain. As far as recording the sound he told me today he is aware of both the sound of it and what he’s doing. I don’t get it. He is a poster boy for dental floss and toothbrushing, two things that are part of my daily life like most other peoples.’

trailsillustrated's avatar

@Aster good luck to him and shame on whomever considered him a good candidate for implants. They require care, upkeep and usually aren’t undertaken on a patient with a history of bruxing for reason mentioned above, and also the flossing with implements made for implants, recall visits, etc. Well, he will certainly enjoy napping after he has gummed his food after his implants fail. And, there is a bone cost to all of this. It’s very hard to make a denture for someone who has hardly any bony ridge left, which is the situation he is looking at.

Aster's avatar

He never ground his teeth until the last four months! The dentist said he had never seen anyone with such a powerful jaw.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Does not bode well. Good luck @aster.

Aster's avatar

Thank you. lol

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