Teeth Grinding and Veneer Damage: Will a Mouthguard Help?
While dental veneers can improve the way your teeth look, they do come with some downsides that you need to think about before you opt for this kind of cosmetic treatment. While you may be aware that you may lose some tooth enamel so that the veneer shells can sit more naturally on your teeth, you may also need to think about other issues, especially if you suffer from bruxism or teeth grinding.
While grinding your teeth doesn't prevent you from having veneers fitted, it may affect the veneers themselves, and your dentist may be worried about using veneers unless you agree to wear a mouthguard at night. Why is your dentist recommending a mouthguard as part of your veneer treatment?
Grinding Your Teeth Causes Damage
If you have bruxism, you typically grind your teeth a lot often without realising it. This is often more of a problem at night when you grind your teeth together while you're asleep and can't do anything about it.
If you grind your teeth a lot, the grinding can affect your natural teeth, wearing them down and damaging them. If you put veneer shells over your teeth, they, in turn, can suffer from the same kind of damage – in fact, the damage may be worse because veneer shells are not as strong as your natural teeth.
Your dentist may be concerned that your bruxism will shorten the life of your veneers. For example, it is thought that bruxism increases the risk of veneer damage or failure by up to eight times. While you can have veneers replaced, having to do this early or regularly will increase the cost of the treatment unnecessarily. For this reason, your dentist may suggest that you take additional steps to protect your veneers.
How Mouthguards Protect Veneers
If you grind your teeth at night, your dentist may recommend that you wear a mouthguard after you have veneers fitted. These devices sit over your teeth and veneers, giving them some protection from grinding. Essentially, you'll still carry on grinding your teeth together; however, the force of the grinding will be diverted to the mouthguard rather than to teeth which physically won't be able to touch each other. This helps prevent grinding from damaging your veneers and the teeth that sit behind them.
Bear in mind that mouthguards will only protect teeth while you're asleep; if you grind your teeth during the day, then you may need to ask your dentist for advice on how to cure your grinding habit or how to minimise its effects.