If you often wake up with jaw pain, earaches, or headaches, or if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, you may have a common condition called bruxism. Nevertheless, bruxism goes unnoticed by most people. Grinding and clenching happen mostly during sleep; it is subconscious and we cannot control it. Your dentist will be able to identify signs and symptoms of bruxism so it can be treated.
Common Causes of Bruxism
Although the causes of bruxism are not really known, several factors may be involved. Stressful situations at home, school, or work, problems in sleeping, an abnormal bite, and crooked or missing teeth may contribute to bruxism. Most people do not even know that they grind their teeth, as it often occurs when one is sleeping. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to excessive tooth wear, broken teeth, cracked teeth, damaged restorations, or even tooth loss.
There is an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism: nightguards. Nightguards are an easy way to prevent the wear and damage that teeth-grinding cause over time. Custom-made by your dentist to fit your teeth, a nightguard is inserted over your top or bottom arch and prevents contact with the opposing teeth.
Choosing the Right Mouthguard
Choosing the right mouthguard is essential. Balancing your bite is crucial when treating bruxism. Unfortunately, this is not possible with most over-the-counter night guards and many may even increase your grinding and clenching. They also tend to be bulky and not as durable.
A nightguard should be tear-resistant, comfortable and well fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly. A nightguard created in our office will fit all these requirements, as it will be custom-made just for your teeth.