Do you grind or clench your teeth at night? If your answer is yes, you may want to try sleeping with one of our custom made night guards.
Bruxism is an oral parafunctional activity which commonly occurs with most people at some point in their lives. The two main characteristics of this condition are grinding the teeth and clenching of the jaw. These actions usually occur during a person’s sleeping hours, but occasionally they occur during the day.
Bruxism is one of the most common known sleep disorders. Chewing is a neuromuscular activity controlled by a subconscious process, but more highly controlled by the brain. During sleep, the subconscious process may become active while the higher control is inactive (asleep), resulting in bruxism. How do you know if you need a bruxism device or nightguard? Your dentist may suggest it to you after an exam. They may see wear on the occlusal surface of your teeth (wearing of the chewing surface) from grinding or the tissues around your teeth may be receding more rapidly than normal from clenching. Other signs may include earaches or headaches. Ask your dentist on your next visit if you think you show any of these symptoms.
Why should I seek treatment for Bruxism?
Gum Recession – Bruxism is a leading cause of gum recession and tooth loss. Grinding teeth can damage the soft tissue directly and lead to loose teeth and deep pockets where bacteria are able to colonize and decay the supporting bone.
- Facial Pain – Grinding can eventually shorten and blunt the teeth. This can lead to muscle pain in the myofascial region and, in severe cases, incapacitating headaches.
- Occlusal Trauma – The abnormal wear patterns on the occlusal (chewing) surfaces of the teeth can lead to fractures, which if left untreated, may require restorative treatment at a later time.
- Arthritis – In the most severe cases, bruxism can eventually lead to painful arthritis in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joints that allow the jaw to open and close smoothly.
Bruxism Treatment Options
Though there is no one cure for bruxism, our office can help to treat bruxism through the fabrication of a nightguard.
- Nightguard – An acrylic guard designed from teeth impressions to minimize the abrasive grinding action during normal sleep. Nightguards are expected to be worn on a long-term nightly basis to help prevent tooth damage. We have a sample here at our office. Ask us and we will show you and explain how it is fabricated.