Protecting Dental Crowns If You Clench Your Teeth In Your Sleep

If you've had to get a dental crown to repair a tooth, but you occasionally clench your jaw in your sleep (or worse, you grind your teeth), you need to be proactive in protecting that crown. Crowns are like any other dental work; they are meant to be long-lasting, but even they face trouble if you suffer from bruxism. There are ways to protect the crown. Start talking to your dentist about these steps as soon as possible.

Night Guards. Now.

One of the best ways to protect the crown and the rest of your teeth from your dental grinding and clenching is to get a dental night guard custom made for your mouth. These help cushion your teeth a bit and make the surfaces that try to grind together so smooth that your jaws just slide past each other, rather than wear down enamel. These guards will help keep the crown from experiencing most of the effects of bruxism.

More Frequent Checkups

It's a good idea to schedule your dental checkups a little more frequently to ensure that the crown is still in good shape, even if you're wearing a dental night guard. Because you have this extra issue with tension affecting how your jaw moves in your sleep, you really can't be too careful if you're trying to keep that crown in place.

Ask About Temporary Crown Repair Kits

There are over-the-counter crown repair kits (mainly temporary adhesives) that can hold a crown in place for a couple of days if it falls out, but be sure your dentist is OK with you using these -- and find out if there's a particular brand you should get. These adhesives can be a bit messy if you aren't used to using them, so you want to be sure you are using a brand that your dentist will be able to remove cleanly when replacing the crown, if yours has fallen out.

Address Stress if Possible

If you know that the bruxism is due to a stressful situation, try to address that stress, or how you handle the stress, to reduce the clenching and grinding. If the issue is grad school, for example, you might not be able to do much about the main stress, but you can find ways to release the stress that are healthier than teeth grinding. Or, if the issue is something that you can take care of, do that. You'll find it makes you feel a lot better and probably will take care of other little health issues you've noticed along the way.

You are definitely not the only person to ever have to deal with this situation. Your dentist, or Hyten David W DMD, can give you additional strategies for keeping that crown in good shape for as long as possible.