Did you know that as many as one-third of adults grind their teeth during the day, and one in ten adults grind their teeth while they sleep? This condition, called bruxism, can be caused by many things: stress, sleep apnea, certain medications, or the use of some drugs can all induce teeth grinding. It’s a serious medical condition that can cause major problems if left untreated.
The symptoms of teeth grinding
Grinding your teeth can cause many uncomfortable symptoms, including
- Damage to your enamel
- Wearing down of your teeth to a level of painful sensitivity
- Pain in your jaw, temple, and even your ears
- Pain while chewing or talking
- Difficulty moving your jaw
- Irritation in your gums
- Difficulty sleeping
- In extreme cases, irritation of your partner from the noise if loud enough
Nightguards as a bruxism treatment
If you grind your teeth at night, you should consider getting a night guard. A night guard, which is very similar to a mouth guard worn by athletes, is a thin tray made of plastic or other material that provides a barrier between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep. This tray helps to alleviate tension and provides cushioning to keep your teeth from wearing down further.
There are three general types of night guards. Over-the-counter solutions include “one-size-fits-all” trays and “boil and bite” trays, which, as the name implies, you boil in water and then bite into to create an impression. While these may work well for mild cases, they can be at best ineffective and at worst uncomfortable or even painful for more serious cases of bruxism.
At Pearly Smile Dental Studio, we offer a third and more effective type of night guard: custom-made. All night guards are custom fitted for comfort and to allow for proper breathing. To create your custom night guard, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send it to a dental lab, where it will be printed. From there, all you have to do is insert the night guard before you go to bed and remove it in the morning. Nightguards are very durable and, with proper care, can be used for up to 10 years.
Other treatments for bruxism
There are also some other things you can do to try and stop teeth grinding beyond getting a night guard.
- You can seek help managing your stress and anxiety by talking to a professional.
- You can train your jaw to be free and easy rather than clenched by using intentional exercises and checking in with yourself regularly.
- You should refrain from chewing gum or other objects like pens, which can stimulate your jaw to grind.
- You should also avoid alcoholic drinks and drinks with caffeine, as these can increase the likelihood that you will grind your teeth.
Schedule your night guard consultation appointment today
If you suspect you might be grinding your teeth at night, set up an appointment with us today. The team at Pearly Smile Dental Studio is ready and willing to help you overcome this uncomfortable condition.