What to treat first... recession or clenching?

by Ms. Rosie

I have abraction & reciding gum. I have been going to my dentist for cleaning three times a year. Then, for the past two years I was placed at twice a year cleaning. Recently I had to have a deep cleaning due to some tartar building. My dentist had noticed my gums swollen. For many years my dentist has said that I grind and clench my teeth because of the abfraction and reciding. My question is where do I start? Do I take care of the grinding and clenching first? Or do I take care of the abfraction & receding gum? I am limited of money right now and I can only work torwards one of them because, at the same, time I don't have dental insurance. Please advise.

Thank you very much.

Rosie

Reply:

Hi Rosie, I would suggest taking care of the the clenching and grinding first. Has your dentist recommended a custom night guard to lessen the effect of clenching/grinding? That is the usual recommendation. You may also want to use a non abrasive toothpaste, an extra soft toothbrush and avoid scrubbing your teeth along the gumline. Use short circular strokes vs long scrubbing ones. Some dentists recommend brushing with mouthwash instead of toothpaste for patients with recession and abfraction as it is not abrasive at all.

Custom night guards are best but there are OTC guards that are better than nothing or if you need something for the short term. The Doctors night guard is one that I have heard is pretty good for an OTC guard. I'm sure you can find it on Amazon for $10-$15. Just click on one of the Amazon products below and search for the Doctors night guard.

Once you get your clenching under control you can reevaluate the recession and abfraction. Those conditions progress slowly in most cases especially if you take the above advice.

Thanks for writing,
~Shelly

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