If you often wake up with jaw pain, headaches, soreness, or if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, you may have a common condition called bruxism. Bruxism is common in our high-stress society. Many people grind their teeth at night, where they are unable to correct their dangerous problem. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, or even tooth loss.
What if I do not know if I grind my teeth?
There are a few steps we encourage all of our patients to do when they show signs of grinding, but are unaware of their grinding habit. The first recommendation is to put a sticker on a watch or a phone. Everytime you see the sticker, check to see if you are clenching or grinding during the day. If your grinding is during the day, then the best treatment is for you to make a conscious effort to stop. In contrast, if you notice the headaches are soreness are worse in the morning and that you are not grinding during the day, a night guard is recommended.
How we can help when you are grinding at night?
Night guards are an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism. Night guards work by preventing your teeth from making contact as you grind; thus, preventing the damage and wear associated with grinding and clenching your teeth. There are two common types of night guards. Over-the-counter “boil and bite” night guards and custom-made night guards from the dentist. Custom-made night guards fabricated by a dentist provides the ability to adjust the bite to increase overall comfort for you. Custom-made by your dentist from a soft material to fit over your teeth, the night guard prevents your teeth from contacting. Night guards can help prevent fractures, wear, and sensitivity for patients.