Bruxism is a habit of clenching or grinding one’s teeth. Many people are unaware that they grind their teeth because they do it during sleep. Bruxism can be audible and disturb your sleep partner, or it can be silent. You may not realize that you are grinding until a dentist discovers wear and tear on your teeth.
Many people will wake up with a headache, earache or toothache. You may have sore facial muscles and tender jaw joints. Besides the discomfort, your grinding will eventually cause damage to dental restorations and may loosen your teeth. Bruxism also may cause harm to your temporomandibular joints, the joints on each side of your mouth that connect the lower jaw to your skull. The pressure when clenching and grinding can cause fractures in your teeth. The enamel is worn away and your teeth may become sensitive to temperature changes and pressure.
No one knows the exact cause of bruxism, and it can be different from individual to individual. Stress, insomnia, an abnormal bite, and crooked teeth are some of the factors. It is estimated that about one third of the population are teeth grinders. Many of these people are chronic enough to require treatment.
Most grinding can be easily treated by wearing a night guard while you sleep. They work by putting a barrier between your teeth. When you clench your jaw, the night guard helps to lighten the tension and give cushion to the jaw muscles. This will prevent jaw and gum pain, and also protect your teeth. There are many different types of night guards, depending on the severity of your grinding. They can be made from several types of materials, including plastic and acrylic. Most dentists agree that grinding should be treated before it causes permanent damage to your teeth.
Do you often wake up with a headache and a sore jaw? It’s best to consult with a professional to discuss all of your treatment options. We treat you individually, according to your own unique situation. There is not one solution that is best for everyone. We will respect your time and let you make the final decision. Your comfort and safety are our primary concern. We will make your teeth healthy, natural looking and beautiful again!