Do you find yourself waking up in the morning with tight jaw muscles? Headaches? Sore teeth? It’s very possible you are grinding your teeth at night and are not even aware of it. Bruxism (commonly known as grinding) is the excessive grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw. When teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis, the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can happen.
Why do people grind their teeth?
More people are unaware that they grind their teeth because it often occurs at night. There is no particular reason for grinding that can be diagnosed; however, grinding is generally brought on by high levels of stress and anxiety. Many times, people will learn of their grinding habits from their significant others who hear them grinding their teeth at night. Other times it will be caught by your dentist or hygienist over several years of careful watch. Upon waking up, a grinder will generally have a dull constant headache or sore jaw.
What makes grinding harmful?
Chronic teeth grinding can result in fracture or even worse, a complete break in the tooth. With excessive grinding, you can wear your teeth down to a stump over many years if left untreated. When chronic grinding happens, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even full plate dentures may be needed to replace the damage that is done. Not only can severe grinding damage teeth with the possible result of tooth loss, it can also affect the jaw.
How to prevent grinding?
Bruxism is treated with a custom fit night guard also known as an occlusal guard. The occlusal guard is designed using upper and lower tooth impressions taken at your dental office. The night guard will be designed with a soft inside to comfort your teeth, followed by a harder exterior to allow for your teeth to glide without damage. The night guard will keep your upper jaw from meeting with your lower jaw.
If you find yourself waking up to dull aches and lingering pains in the morning, it is very possible you are experiencing nocturnal bruxism. Dr. Still will evaluate your current situation and create a custom fitted appliance to ease the pain of tooth on tooth grinding.