While it can happen at any time of the day, teeth grinding (or bruxism) is a habit that is most often performed during nighttime sleep. Morning jaw pain, worn down teeth and a complaining bed partner are telltale signs that you are grinding your teeth while you sleep. Many patients are aware that they grind their teeth, yet they feel helpless in controlling a habit that occurs subconsciously.
Unlike nightmares or sleep walking, bruxism is a nighttime habit that can be prevented by your dentist. A custom night guard can be created for you to wear while you sleep. A dental night guard is a removable oral appliance that is made of comfortable and durable materials. The night guard works by forming a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. This prevents the harmful pressure and abrasive forces exerted on your teeth as you grind them throughout the night.
What Are the Consequences of Not Wearing a Night Guard?
The act of grinding and even clenching your teeth puts incredible strain and pressure on your enamel and jaw that they are not equipped to handle. The pressure is enough to wear down and crack your tooth enamel as well as damage dental restorations (fillings, crowns, etc.). When it comes to your jaw, the muscles can suffer extensive strain that causes the jaw joint (TMJ) to stiffen and become inflamed. The result is a painful, clicking or stiff jaw as well as possible morning headaches.
Contact a Bruxism Dentist in Marietta
While wearing an oral appliance to bed may not seem ideal, it may be the best solution for a good night’s sleep and pain-free morning. It can also save your wallet from costly dental repairs for worn down teeth and other dental damage. Since teeth grinding is often a result of stress, some patients find that they can stop wearing their mouthguard as they find ways to promote a healthier and more relaxed lifestyle.
To learn more about a custom night guard to prevent teeth grinding, please contact Gilreath Dental Associates today. We want to protect your smile and promote better sleep whenever possible!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,