Protecting Teeth with Dental Night Guards in Midland
Teeth grinding can be a symptom of a few different conditions. For some, teeth grinding - also called bruxism - is the physical expression of stress. Bruxism can also be the result of a bad bite or teeth that are crooked. Teeth grinding happens as you attempt to adjust your bite to make your teeth fit together properly. Other symptoms of teeth grinding occur as a side effect of sleep apnea.
Signs & Symptoms of Bruxism
We all might occasionally grind our teeth. This can occur as a result of stress when teeth are clenched or when grinding happens. But trouble really can begin when teeth grinding and clenching become a habit. In particular, bruxism is a problem when it happens at night. While you sleep, you are likely unaware of this harmful habit. Of course, your sleep partner may be very aware of the annoying sound associated with your bruxism. Other signs and symptoms of teeth grinding include:
- Sore jaw muscles and facial pain
- Unusually worn teeth
- Earaches, with no sign of infection
- A stiff neck or sore shoulder muscles in the morning
Harmful Effects of Teeth Grinding
As we said, occasional grinding and clenching is a normal flight-or fight response to a stressful situation, and likely doesn’t cause any harm to your teeth. Habitual bruxism, on the other hand, can have serious consequences to your smile and your overall oral health. Severe bruxism can lead to teeth that become worn down to stubs which is unattractive and unhealthy. Moreover, teeth can even break or become loose as a result of persistent grinding. In this case, untreated bruxism can necessitate tooth extraction.
In addition, teeth grinding and clenching can affect your jaw and may lead to TMJ disorder, a condition that affects the joints that allow you to comfortably open and close your mouth. Symptoms of TMJ include soreness when you move your jaw to eat or speak, a popping or clicking sound when you open your mouth, jaw stiffness, and ear pain.
Stop Teeth Grinding with a Night Guard
To put a stop to nighttime teeth grinding and clenching, Midland dentist, Dr. Christensen can prescribe a custom-fitted night guard. Custom made just for you from a molded impression of your teeth, this comfortable oral appliance fits in your mouth and prevents the surfaces of your upper and lower teeth from meeting and grinding together.
Other steps you can take to reduce the inclination to grind your teeth include:
- Stress-reducing activities, such as meditation and yoga
- Cutting back on foods and beverages that contain caffeine
- Limiting alcohol consumption before bedtime