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If you grind your teeth a lot, especially at night, you may be suffering from bruxism. While this condition may not adversely affect every person who grinds their teeth, excessive bruxism may affect your teeth over time. For example, the constant grinding you suffer from may wear down your teeth or affect their enamel coating. If you have had some cosmetic damage to your teeth, you may be thinking about having veneers fitted to cover up the wear and tear; however, your dentist may be less keen to use this treatment. How does bruxism affect veneers and how can you minimise its effects if you decide to go ahead with this treatment?
The Effects of Bruxism on Veneers
Although veneers may cover up the cosmetic damage from your bruxism, your teeth grinding problem is still an issue. The reason why your dentist may not be keen to fit veneers on teeth that have been damaged by bruxism is the fact that the veneers themselves may be affected over time from the grinding of your teeth.
While veneers are made from strong materials, they aren't really as strong as your teeth. If your bruxism is bad enough to damage teeth, it is also likely to be strong enough to damage a veneer. For example, it may crack or chip the veneer shell or even dislodge it completely. According to Animated Teeth, bruxism brings an eight-fold increased risk of veneer failure because of the pressure your habit puts on the veneers.
A Mouthguard May Make Your Dentist More Positive
Your dentist may be more willing to fit veneers to cover bruxism damage if you are willing to take steps to control your condition. For example, if your bruxism primarily happens at night, your dentist can make a mouthguard or splint for you. These devices cover your teeth while you sleep and, although they don't stop you from grinding your teeth, they may give your veneers a level of protection against damage. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, research shows that a night splint goes some way to reducing the rate of veneer failure if you suffer from bruxism.
Bear in mind that a night mouthguard may help protect your teeth and veneers, but it may not be a perfect solution as it cannot prevent grinding from happening in the first place. It also won't help if you grind your teeth during the day. If your cosmetic dentist remains convinced that veneers won't work, you may need to talk about other solutions to cover tooth damage such as bonding or crowns.
Tip: Consider talking to your doctor to see if you can work out why you grind your teeth and if there are ways to stop. Your doctor may also be willing refer you for a sleep study if there are no obvious reasons for your bruxism.