Grinding your teeth at night, also known as Bruxism, can cause a variety of problems for your teeth and jaw. Most people grind their teeth a little, which causes little to no damage. Where it gets concerning is when it becomes repetitive. We often hear stories about patients who wake up with a sore jaw because they were grinding their teeth throughout the night. Stories like these are why we here at BRAIDC want to help our patients.
Common causes of teeth grinding:
Stress and anxiety: People may clench or grind their teeth when feeling stressed or anxious.
Abnormal bite/tooth placement: Our teeth aren’t perfect cubes like you see in cartoons. Oftentimes teeth may not be lined up correctly when you close your mouth, causing some grinding.
Nighttime grinding: Many people tend to clench and grind their teeth while asleep. This often causes the most damage, as patients won’t notice the extent of the pain or damage while sleeping
Whatever causes it, too much grinding can put stress on your TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint,) which connects your lower jaw to the skull. Too much stress can cause TMD, also known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. Symptoms include pain in the mouth, jaw, neck, headaches, and fatigue of varying severity. In addition, grinding can eventually wear down teeth, expose nerves, and cause tooth fractures. Fortunately, BRAIDC has a way to prevent and treat these issues.
To treat or prevent problems caused by teeth grinding, we suggest two options. We can provide you with a custom-made nightguard. This night guard fits your mouth securely, is made of high-quality reinforced acrylic, and is completely safe to use and sleep with. This non-invasive treatment works by preventing your top and bottom teeth from meeting each other. In addition, it also helps shut down the jaw muscle that would cause the teeth to grind or clench. Secondly, we recommend the use of an over the counter night guard. Available at your local drug store, it works in a very similar fashion and it can be an affordable option to a custom nightguard.
If you’d like to start preventing grinding, contact BRAIDC and make an appointment today.