Bruxism refers to the grinding and clenching of the teeth. If this condition is untreated, the healthy enamel on the chewing surfaces of your teeth will wear away. Symptoms often include facial pain, headache, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. When treated early, a plastic mouth appliance, called a night-guard or occlusal splint, is fabricated for the patient to wear. The night-guard forms a barrier between the top and bottom teeth to absorb the force of biting and to stop the grinding of the two arches.
Eventually, if left untreated, the enamel erodes, causing the tips of the teeth to look flat and exposing the inside of the tooth, called dentine. When dentine is exposed, tooth sensitivity occurs. In this situation, cosmetic-functional crown lengthening is recommended, to prepare for the placement of ceramic crown restorations.