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Bruxism and Teeth Grinding

 What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for grinding and clenching your teeth. The problem with this is that over time this can wear away at the enamel of your teeth. This can make brushing your teeth harder since your teeth will likely be sensitive. Over time this can even lead to TMJ, and jaw pain. In severe cases, it is possible for teeth to chip and this would require restorative dental work. The problem is that many people only grind their teeth during the night when they are sleep, which means it can be tough to stop. The good thing is that the dentist will be able to spot the signs of bruxism, and can help you prevent it!

Cause

The biggest cause of bruxism is stress and anxiety. If during the day you experience either of these feelings, then it is much more likely that you will be experiencing the effects of stress during the night, which can look like grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw. It could also be caused by sleep apnea, which is where your breathing isn’t regular.  Wearing this a mouth guard without doing a sleep apnea study is not a great idea. We can help with this though! We can do sleep apnea tests to determine if this is something you have. Once we figure this out, we can then recommend a nightguard that can help fight bruxism.

Symptoms

If you aren’t sure if you have bruxism, then there are a few symptoms to watch out for you and if you notice any of these, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist.

  • Grinding sound at night, usually, a spouse or partner will be able to tell you if you are doing this.
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Pain in your jaw, or tightness
  • Teeth are worn down, flattened, or even chipped
  • Crowns, or fillings breaking down

How to prevent teeth grinding

The most effective way to prevent bruxism is to use a custom mouthguard. This mouth guard will help keep your teeth protected during the night, and keep the enamel on your teeth healthy! Plus you will wake up feeling better, and your jaw won’t hurt. If you or a family member has bruxism, or you think they might, then you should schedule an appointment with the dentist! They will be able to diagnose and then make a custom mouth guard for you or them!