Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching

Benefit of Routine Dental Exam and Xray

There are many benefits to routine dental exam.  Even though a person does not feel having any dental problems such as pain or swelling, there could be some hidden problems that only dentist can detect.  During routine dental examination, a dentist would take appropriate set of xray images and perform clinical examination on your teeth and surrounding oral structures.  Xray images are able to show areas of teeth that cannot be seen visually.  For example, in this patient we take xray image of her lower right teeth during her routine examination.  We took a full series of xray images which consists of 18 films and this type of xray images are taken on average once every 5 years depending on dental needs of the patient.  And this year it is her time for having this type of xray taken.  So we took a full set, and one of her xray images shows her lower right tooth has a root fracture.

Xray Image shows root fracture.

Xray Image shows root fracture.


She has had no previous symptoms and she is not aware of having any problem.  The cause of root fracture might be due to her teeth grinding and clenching habits.  Because of root fracture, we are not able to restore the tooth and the tooth would need to be extracted.  Due to early detection, no real infection or no further damage occurs.  After the extraction, patient would need implant.


Routine dental exam can help detect dental problems.  If dental problems left untreated, there are chances of addition risks such as infection, bone loss, and other adverse health effect.  Dentist recommends routine checkup and cleaning at least twice a year or once every 6 months, depending on the needs of patients.


Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, Please call 480-820-6131

Genral Dental Office in Tempe AZ — White Tooth-Colored Fillings, Porcelain Crowns, Veneers, Inlays, Onlays

Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona. Practicing General Dentist

Many Benefits of Night Guard

Night guard is like a rubber “glove” worn over either upper or lower teeth mainly over your sleep at night.  It has many benefits:

1.  It protects your teeth by absorbing excessive force being placed on them when you are unknowingly clenching and grinding your teeth at night.  Some people have such habit and they may not know it but if they have done it often enough, they will notice their jaw and teeth may become sore especially in the morning.  This night guard can help protect the teeth.

2.  It helps preventing breakage of your teeth from the clenching and grinding habit.

3.  It would help relieve symptoms associated with TMJ disorders.

4.  It can be an unofficial whitening tray.  Bleaching gel can be placed within the wells of the night guard to whiten teeth.

5.  It can hold the fluoride gel in place.  Fluoride can help strengthen the teeth.

6. It can decrease the snoring problem when sleeping.  When the breathing is partially obstructed, loud snoring sound is produced.  The night guard can help open the airway and this helps decrease the snoring problem.


Dr Tee can help you to make a night guard if you think you have any of the above symptoms.  Come in for an examination and we can tell you if it can benefit you.


Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching are common but often people may not aware that they have such habits causing damage to their teeth.  Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can cause excessive stress to the teeth, the supportive periodontal bone structure, surrounding muscle and temperomandibular joint.  The symptoms of teeth grinding and jaw clenching are inter-related and can include: temperomandibular joint pain, toothache, tooth structural damage, ear ache, stress, and depression.

The most common triggers can be stress and depression related.  There are many ways to deal with the conditions and the purpose of treatment is to alleviate symptoms, pain and damage to teeth.  The treatment can be muscle relaxant, massage to the affected muscle, faithful wearing of the dental night-guard, etc.  These techniques can help prevent damage to teeth.  Also, it is important to learn how to cope with stress (since life can be inevitably stressful.)  Surgery on the afflicted joint is the last resort to correct the dysfunctional joint.


Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Practicing Family Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.