Do you grind or clench your teeth?
Are you sure?
Many people grind or clench and aren’t even aware of it because it happens while they are sleeping. If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of grinding and clenching, you might want to ask your partner if they’ve noticed the distinctive sounds of grinding and clenching at night. You should also contact our Cypress dental office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Devani so that he can look for the telltale signs of dental erosion that can signify that grinding or clenching is going on.
You may not realize that grinding and clenching is actually a dental disorder known as bruxism. While it might not seem like a big deal now, leaving it untreated can lead to serious problems down the road. Treatment for bruxism usually involves a night guard – a special appliance that is worn in your mouth while you sleep.
What Are the Symptoms of Bruxism?
Some of the signs that may indicate that you are grinding or clenching your teeth include:
- Pain in the jaw, neck, ears, and temporomandibular joint (the joint just beneath your ear where your lower jaw meets your skull)
- Teeth that feel loose
- Worn-down or shortened teeth
- Aching in your jaw and teeth when you first wake up
- Migraines that don’t seem to respond to medical treatment
- Sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweets
If you’ve noticed any of these, please call our office for a consultation.
What Causes Bruxism?
Stress is a leading contributor to clenching and grinding. Many people have a tendency to clench or grind their teeth when they are upset or stressed out. This isn’t a huge deal unless it becomes chronic, which can happen when stress doesn’t let up. Learning strategies to minimize or manage your stress can help relieve the clenching and grinding so that you don’t damage your teeth.
Another common cause of bruxism is teeth or jaw misalignment. In this case, your jaw is constantly trying to look for “the path of least resistance” so that your teeth fit together in a way that feels natural. When that can’t happen, clenching or grinding occurs. Orthodontics may help to line up your bite or your teeth properly and solve the problem.
How Do Night Guards Help?
Night guards are an excellent therapy for protecting your teeth and relieving the symptoms of bruxism. Different styles are available and they work in different ways. Some hold your teeth in a different position so that the back teeth can’t come together and grind, while others provide a cushion between your teeth that minimizes the grinding and absorbs the pressure.
Dr. Devani will recommend a style that’s right for you based on whether you are clenching or grinding (or if you are doing both) and several other individual factors. While some night guards are available on the Internet or in the drug store, we strongly recommend that you check with our office before purchasing a night guard because we want to make sure that you get one that will meet your needs and not cause additional problems. Wearing a night guard that isn’t suited for your mouth may cause your teeth to drift out of alignment, potentially worsening the situation!
Call to Schedule an Appointment!
If you suspect that you might be clenching or grinding your teeth, call Premier Smiles Dentistry in Cypress, CA to schedule your consultation and examination with Dr. Nick Devani. We look forward to seeing you!