Have you ever woken up with an aching jaw that made you wonder if you chewed through a tough piece of leather? Does your sleeping partner tease you about all the talking and teeth grinding you do while you’re asleep? Perhaps you get frequent headaches while you sleep. If any of these sound familiar, you may suffer from Bruxism (teeth grinding).
How Can You Tell?
Quite often, a partner is the first to let a person know about their nighttime noises. Though it may be the source of family jokes, snoring, talking and teeth grinding should also be taken as a reason to schedule a visit to your family dentist. Other signs to watch for are:
- Increased tooth pain or sensitivity caused by wearing away the tooth enamel
- Temporomandibular joint clicking or popping (TMJ)
- Tired or tight (locked) jaw
- Pain that feels like an earache or pain close to your ear
- Bites to the inside of your cheek
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Damaged dental work such as loose fillings or broken crowns
Our jaw muscles are some of the strongest in our body and when that force is applied directly to teeth, it can do some significant damage. If you find you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, or have been diagnosed with sleep Bruxism, contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Stopping the Grind
Learning to stop grinding your teeth when you’re awake is generally less difficult than controlling it while you snooze. The cause for sleep Bruxism is different for each patient and the solution must take care of their individual needs.
One tried and true method is to wear a mouthguard overnight to protect teeth from the pressure of grinding. Our dental team can take impressions of your teeth to create a customized mouthguard. You simply insert the nightguard over your teeth before sleeping. Because the guard is custom fit, it will be more comfortable than an off-the-shelf mouthguard and more likely to stay in place overnight. If you suspect you grind your teeth at night, contact our office to discuss a treatment plan to protect your teeth and jaw.Posted on behalf of Creative Dentistry & MedSpa