If you awaken to find your teeth clenched, or if a member of your family has told you that you grind your teeth during the night, this is a condition called bruxism. It can cause damage to your teeth and your jaw, and it can lead to other complications if left untreated.
So, how exactly can it be treated? Patients who are diagnosed with bruxism are usually recommended night guards by their dentist in order to alleviate the negative impact of nighttime teeth grinding and clenching.
A night guard is a transparent mouth-tray device that you place in your mouth before sleeping. It acts to prevent your upper teeth from directly touching your lower teeth, thereby preventing the grinding against each other.
Is It Time to Get a Night Guard?
Before you head out to purchase a cheap night guard at your local pharmacy, keep in mind that a night guard is most effective and most comfortable when it is custom-made for your teeth by your dentist. A store-bought mouth guard may feel a bit like those fake Halloween teeth in your mouth! That will be difficult to sleep with.
It is a good idea to talk to your dentist about getting fitted for a customized night guard if you experience any of the following symptoms:
Teeth grinding can cause headaches due to the pressure it places on your jaw. If you wake up in the morning with a headache, you could have been grinding your teeth at night. When it comes to finding out what’s causing chronic headaches in patients, doctors will always consider the possibility of bruxism.
Your jaw structures such as the bones, nerves, muscles, and ligaments may be affected by the intense pressure of your nighttime teeth grinding or clenching. Long-term bruxism could lead to TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, which can cause pain, muscle spasms, and the inability to open your mouth fully.
The act of grinding your teeth can damage your enamel. A sign that your enamel has thinned is if your teeth are becoming sensitive to cold or hot drinks and sweet and sour foods. A dentist can take a look at your teeth and determine whether the enamel has worn down.
Worn-down enamel creates weaker teeth. This may cause them to crack from the stress from the grinding. You may or may not see cracks in your teeth; an indicator is sudden tooth pain and sensitivity.
Skilled Dentist in Minneapolis-St. Paul
At Hagerman Dental Care, we have been helping our dental patients prevent damage and other complications from bruxism for decades. We provide high-quality, custom-made night guards by taking impressions of your teeth and sending them to our partner laboratory.
The entire process is quick, simple, and painless. Additionally, we also perform dental treatments to fix existing damage such as worn-down enamel and tooth fractures in order to relieve painful symptoms caused by teeth grinding.
The sooner you address teeth grinding, the less damage caused to your teeth and jaws. To make an appointment with Dr. Hagerman, call us today at (651) 646-2392 or request an appointment now via our online form. We look forward to serving you!