Do you grind your teeth at night?
Teeth grinding or clenching are common habits, but that doesn’t mean they are harmless. The act of grinding and clenching your teeth is known as bruxism. This can wear down teeth structure or even cause them to loosen over time. The enamel of your teeth can be work down causing sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. Bruxism can also lead to jaw pain and/or headaches.
Some reasons for grinding and clenching our teeth:
- Misaligned teeth/bite problems
- Using stimulating substances (coffee, alcohol, tobacco)
- Medication side effect
What to do?
If you are grinding due to stress, you might try and manage it by exercise, medication, or listening to soothing music. If your teeth are seriously misaligned orthodontics may be recommended. Replacing any missing teeth will help with your bite. If damage to your teeth or existing dental work is evident, we may recommend a custom-made night guard.
Night guards keep the upper teeth from grinding with the lower teeth, offering a possible solution to teeth clenching problems with possible reduction of morning headaches, reduce stress and tension in or around the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint with the reduction of chipping or breakage of dental work or fractured teeth. Sometimes there is increased tooth sensitivity to cold. Then the chances are high that tooth grinding or clenching has caused this.
Grinding is very common for children often when they are about to lose their baby teeth. Most children outgrow this and no treatment is needed.
All children and adults who participate in contact sports should wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth against blows to the face or mouth.
A properly filled mouth guard can help prevent broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw.
There are many types of mouth guards, including the “boil and bite” options. The best option however, is a custom made mouth guard specifically designed to your mouth. They fit nicely in the mouth and are much more comfortable.