Do you often wake up with jaw pain or headaches? Chances are you have bruxism. Bruxism is when someone unconsciously grinds or clenches their jaw and teeth. Grinding means moving your jaw back and forth, while clenching means biting down with excessive force over a long period.
While it can happen when awake, bruxism is more common at night when sleeping. For this reason, many people might not know they have the condition until they notice tooth damage or their dentist or sleep partners tell them.
The symptoms of bruxism can range from mild to severe. In chronic bruxism, teeth grinding can lead to enamel erosion, tooth fractures, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. It can also cause sleep deprivation, headaches, pain in the teeth, jaw, face, and neck, and cause TMJ disorders.
Physical, psychological, and genetic factors can cause bruxism. While the exact cause of bruxism might be hard to establish, the following factors can increase your risks of grinding your teeth:
Common symptoms of bruxism to watch out for include:
Visit our dentist near you as soon as possible if you have these symptoms or other concerns about your teeth or jaw. Similarly, notify your sleep partner if you notice they have these symptoms. Seek pediatric care if your child has bruxism.
With Teeth grinding treatment, you can use consecutive methods to reduce or manage teeth grinding. These include:
If you grind your teeth regularly, you have a question: How to stop teeth grinding at night? You can get a night guard for bruxism. A night guard works like a sports guard. You wear the guard on the upper or lower teeth, preventing them from clenching or grinding against each other. It also helps align your bite properly, preventing bruxism.
A night guard can also be called a bite splint, occlusal splint, and occlusal guard. While the device won’t cure bruxism, it protects your teeth and dental restorations from damage. It also prevents associated symptoms like jaw, head, or face discomfort. You will continue to clench and grind your teeth when you stop wearing the guard.
Temporomandibular joints are the joints that connect your lower jaw to the skull. Temporomandibular joints syndrome affects how the jaw joints and muscles function, leading to unpleasant symptoms like:
Like bruxism, wearing a mouth guard can help manage the symptoms of TMJ. For instance, it provides proper teeth alignment, releasing jaw tension and preventing pain, headaches, and other symptoms of TMJ.
Bruxism or TMJ can lead to tooth loss, jaw disorders, and other serious that require complex and expensive treatments. While it’s possible to get a cheaper night guard online or at a local store, it’s best to get a custom guard from your dentist.
Unlike generic guards, custom night guards are designed based on your dental structure. Therefore, they fit snugly against the teeth without causing any discomfort or difficulty breathing. Generic guards tend to be uncomfortable, which can worsen your situation.
Similarly, custom guards ensure the jaw is properly aligned, reducing bruxism, sleep apnea, and TMJ symptoms.
Custom night guards contain more high-quality materials than generic guards. It ensures maximum comfort, and they typically last longer.
Are you interested in night guards in Lexington, MA? Contact our dentist at Lexington Dental Group.