If you wake up with a sore jaw or suffer from morning headaches, a teeth grinding or teeth clenching habit may be to blame. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, refers to the involuntary clenching, grinding and gnashing of the teeth. According to The Better Health Channel, about half of the population does it from time to time, and nearly 5% of the population are regular, forceful tooth grinders.
When performed on a chronic basis, teeth grinding can wreak havoc on your dental health as well as your quality of life. Bruxism can occur during the day, but it is most often occurs during nighttime sleep. It is typically a subconscious habit that is triggered by stress or moments of high concentration. Kids as well as adults can grind or clench their teeth, and the consequences of this oral habit remain the same if not treated by a dentist.
Signs of Teeth Grinding
You may not know you are doing it at the time, but you’ll most likely feel the effects of chronic bruxism later. Did you know that your jaw can grind with as much as 250 pounds of force? That doesn’t go unscathed. The following symptoms are signs that you are grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep:
- Sore jaw
- Clicking/stiff jaw
- Sore teeth
- Worn down teeth
- Damaged dental work (fillings, crowns)
- Receding gums
Don’t worry; a dentist can intervene and save you from these consequences using custom oral appliance therapy. A nighttime mouthguard is made of smooth, durable materials and tailored for a precise, comfortable fit. This simple appliance can help you (and your bed partner) get a better night’s sleep while protecting your smile at the same time. A nightguard provides a buffer to protect your tooth enamel from prematurely wearing down. It can also alleviate the constant strain of your jaw muscles throughout the night, which causes TMJ problems, headaches and other disruptive issues.
At Sunrise Dental and Implant center, we proudly help patients understand how certain oral habits can wreak havoc on their dental health. If teeth grinding is threatening your sleep, your oral health or your quality of life, turn to our experts in Fairfield. We are happy to tell you more about how a custom dental nightguard can save your smile.