Do you have face pain, difficulty chewing or ear pain? You may be grinding or clenching your teeth when you sleep and the result is often excessive wear and tear on your teeth. If you suspect you may have this condition, which dentists call bruxism, it could cost you time and money for dental work you didn’t count on. Your dentist can best assess the problem and may even recommend a custom nightguard as a simple solution to the problem.
According to the Mayo Clinic, bruxism is classified as a sleep disorder and is linked with other sleep problems such as sleep apnea and snoring. The clenching is unconscious and many are unaware they are doing it. Many sufferers have headaches and ear pain or have trouble sleeping without knowing why. Bruxism is often linked to stress and tension. It can cause serious damage to the teeth, resulting in costly dental work.
To diagnose bruxism, dentists look for chipped teeth or worn tooth enamel during a routine exam. Sufferers may have loose teeth or sores on the insides of their cheeks from accidentally biting them. If this is happening to you, the enamel on your teeth may wear away until your teeth become sensitive and vulnerable to cavities.
A nightguard is a simple device that protects your teeth and relieves many common symptoms of bruxism. Inexpensive nightguards are available in drug stores, but they are not as comfortable or as effective as a custom nightguard fitted by your dentist. An improperly fitting nightguard can actually cause more damage because it may not be aligned with your natural bite. Your dentist carefully fits the nightguard to help your jaw stay properly aligned, preventing unnecessary pain.
Investing in a night guard protects your dental work so you don’t have to waste time and money getting repairs for problems that could have been prevented. For more information on this and our other dental services, please contact us.