Teeth Grinding – Bruxism
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with your jaw aching? Or maybe you’ve just woken up from a night’s sleep thinking you MUST have been dreaming about the infamous Tyson vs. Holyfield fight? If so, you’re not alone. Jaw pain can be an indication that you may be a grinder — a condition known in the dental community as bruxism, which causes you to grind your teeth at night.
Many patients are completely oblivious to the fact they’re grinding or clenching their teeth at night until dentists notice worn enamel or have to repair cracks and chips. If you suspect you may be a grinder, schedule an appointment with one of our dentists as soon as possible. The sooner we can get you fitted for a custom night guard, the sooner you can protect your smile from teeth grinding.
What are the signs of teeth grinding?
If left untreated, the force exerted from grinding will overwork your jaw muscles and cause you to wake up feeling sore. While bruxism destroys your teeth, it’s often done unconsciously. In fact, many people are unaware they have bruxism until they’re told by their dentists.
Teeth grinding symptoms can include:
- Sore jaw
- TMJ disorder
- Worn tooth enamel
- Tooth sensitivity
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Loose teeth
If you recognize any of the above symptoms (especially those that happen when you wake up), call our office to schedule your appointment. The longer you wait to see a dentist, the more likely you’ll need crowns, veneers, and other tooth restorations to repair your smile. A teeth grinding guard saves you money in the long run by reducing your need for restorative dentistry.
How does a night guard prevent teeth grinding?
If you’re waking up in pain, you’re not getting the deep quality sleep you need to stay energized and focused during the day. Fortunately, our dentists will be able to create a custom night guard to protect your smile while you sleep.
A dental night guard is a removable oral appliance that forms a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. While a sports mouth guard is worn while playing contact sports, a night guard is worn while you sleep.
Do I need a night guard?
If you have bruxism, we highly recommend you get a night guard as soon as possible. Not only does a teeth grinding guard protect your oral health, but it prevents you from needing extensive dental work. The forces exerted on your teeth from bruxism are strong enough to wear away enamel, as well as crack or loosen teeth. A mouth guard for teeth grinding will protect your smile so you won’t need restorative dentistry.
A dental night guard will help get rid of the headaches you’ve had upon waking as well as any jaw pain. Many of our patients appreciate being able to get a good night’s sleep without waking up groggy and in pain.
How can I get a custom night guard?
During your first appointment with us, our dentist will take impressions of your teeth to send to the lab. When you return to our office, your night guard will be waiting. Our dentist may make slight adjustments to the fit of the night guard so you can breathe and sleep comfortably.
As always, if you have further questions, don’t hesitate to call our office, or stop by for a consultation.