Many people grind or clench their teeth on occasion. This is a condition medically known as bruxism. The occasional grinding and clenching typically do not cause any harm. However, when it occurs on a regular, uninterrupted basis, this is when serious damage can occur. Sleep bruxism, or grinding and clenching that happens while you sleep, often goes uninterrupted, leaving you with pain in the morning as well as other significant issues. If you suffer from sleep bruxism, Fern Creek Dentistry can help with a nighttime mouthguard.
How Do I Know if I Grind and Clench My Teeth?
When you grind and clench your teeth at night, you are most likely unaware that it is happening. There are some signs that can point toward the condition, however. Waking up with a sore jaw is one of the biggest indicators. You may also have a dull headache first thing in the morning. Your partner may have told you that they hear you grinding your teeth in your sleep.
Why Do I Grind and Clench My Teeth?
There is no one specific cause of bruxism. It can happen for many reasons. One of the most common causes of bruxism is stress. It can occur if your teeth or your jaws are poorly aligned. Other things that can cause bruxism include consuming caffeine, especially right before bedtime, some medications, and habits like smoking or alcohol consumption.
What Can Happen if I Keep Grinding and Clenching?
When bruxism goes on unstopped for long periods, it can cause serious harm to your oral health. Constant grinding and clenching can wear down your teeth, which makes them smaller and affects your smile. Grinding and clenching put excessive amounts of pressure on your teeth, which can cause them to fracture or break. This damage can then increase your risk for infections. You may also loosen your teeth, which can also eventually result in tooth loss.
How Does a Mouthguard Help?
Mouthguards are a common treatment for nighttime bruxism. This type of oral device is worn in your mouth while you sleep. It covers your teeth and functions to absorb the impact of grinding and clenching. In doing so, the mouthguard helps to protect your teeth from harm. Also, absorbing the impact keeps the pressure off of your jaws, which helps to prevent you from waking up with a sore mouth every morning.
What Type of Mouthguard Do I Need?
When it comes to a mouthguard for bruxism, we recommend one that is custom made instead of purchasing one at the store. A professionally made mouthguard is made to fit your mouth perfectly. This allows it to stay in place and feel comfortable. You will not have to worry about it falling out, rendering it useless, or having it interfere with your breathing or sleep.
The type of mouthguard you need will depend upon the severity of your bruxism. A soft mouthguard is generally recommended for those with mild to moderate bruxism. There are also dual laminate mouthguards as well as hard mouthguards. Dual laminate mouthguards are meant for those with moderately severe bruxism while hard mouthguards are recommended for those with severe bruxism. We can help you to determine the best type of mouthguard to protect your mouth.
If you are experiencing symptoms of bruxism, a mouthguard can help alleviate your pain and protect your teeth. Call Fern Creek Dentistry at (704) 380-9555 to schedule your appointment today.