Going to the dentist isn't any fun, but it is one of those things that just has to be done. For years, I fought the process and didn't go for my regular cleanings and in the end, it sure didn't pay to do so. I ended up spending ten times as much time in the chair and a boat-load of money in dental repairs. If you don't like going to the dentist, you can make it easier on yourself. This blog will show you a few tips that can help you improve the experience and get through the treatment without as much discomfort.
If you grind your teeth on a regular basis, chances are good that you already know it can cause damage to your teeth over time. However, the problems don't stop there. You could also develop a problem called mandibular tori. Here's what you need to know about this condition.
What They Are
Mandibular tori are bony growths on the jaw. They develop in people who grind their teeth and clench their teeth together on a regular basis. The good news is, they're non-cancerous. However, they can cause discomfort and even pain if they grow large enough.
Why They Form
Mandibular tori are essentially a malfunction in the growth of the bone of your jaw.
Your bones are living things that constantly need to replace old cells with new ones. In bones, pressure invigorates and encourages the growth of new healthy cells. This includes your jaw. So when you chew and bite on a normal basis, it evenly distributes pressure and encourages growth. However, if you grind and clench in just one part of your jaw, your bone can react by growing an excess of bone cells under the surface of your gums.
What To Do
If you're bothered by your mandibular tori and want to get rid of them, there are two ways to go about it, and both require visiting with a dentist.
The first option you have is to have a custom grinding guard made for you. This will not only ensure that it fits well and is made of good material, but it will also help to ensure that the parts of your jaw where you grind the most have the most support.
Note that this method will not get rid of your bony tori right away. The bone will have to gradually break down and be absorbed back into the body. However, by wearing your grinding guard at night and consciously making an effort during the day not to clench and grind, you should notice your tori shrinking.
Your second option is to have a dentist surgically remove the excess bone. This can be done in-office, but it does typically require general anesthesia. The gum layer will be cut open to access the tori and the excess bone material will be cut away. Then the gums are closed back up over it.
Keep in mind that with this method, the tori could come back. If you want to have them cut out, the best thing you can do is to get a grinding guard to prevent them from coming back after they've been removed.
Bony tori don't cause problems for everyone, but if you don't like having them or they're causing discomfort for you, you should talk to a dentist about getting help. Whatever method you choose, rest easy knowing that you're not in any danger and you'll find relief soon. Reach out to dental services today.