Grinding your teeth can damage enamel, wear down teeth, cause tooth sensitivity and jaw pain. Studies have shown that grinding can be associated with sleep apnea – a serious medical condition. The noise from teeth grinding and snoring can also disturb your spouse’s sleep if loud enough. Always consult with a dental professional if there are any questions or concerns.
If you clench or grind your teeth you should consider a night guard. This device, which is very similar to a mouth guard worn by athletes, provides a barrier between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep. All night guards are custom fitted for comfort and to allow proper breathing. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and have the night guard created by a dental lab. Night guards are very durable but may need to be replaced every once in a while.
There are also some things that you can do to try to consciously stop teeth grinding. Awareness of the problem can help to identify the times and situations that cause you to grind. Refrain from chewing gum or on other objects like pens. Studies show that you should also avoid drinks with caffeine, as these can increase the likelihood of you grinding your teeth. If you suspect you might be clenching or grinding your teeth at night, set up an appointment with us today.
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
A properly fitted night guard shifts the jaw and teeth into proper alignment, which can alleviate jaw tension, headaches, pain, and other symptoms of temporomandibular joint syndrome.
Often, deep grooves will eventually form in the night guard from the force of the grinding. The night guard prevents this same force from causing damage to the teeth. Without a night guard, enamel can be worn down excessively, leading to tooth sensitivity.
The size and shape of the guards do not allow for any choking or swallowing to happen during the night and I have not worried about this possibility in years. Tooth Movement and Bite Changes: The majority of night guards work by offering a layer of protection between the upper and lower teeth.