If you wake up with tightness or pain in your jaw, or you suffer from frequent headaches, there’s a good chance you’re grinding your teeth in the night.
Tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common condition impacting millions of people around the world.
Bruxism can cause several problems, including:
Pain and discomfort
When you grind your teeth, you are putting tremendous pressure on your jaw, which can cause damage and inflammation to both the jaw bone and the muscles and fascia that surround it. Tooth grinding can also lead to the development of TMJ or TMD, which is a disorder that develops in the temporomandibular joint (which connects your jaw to your skull).
Think about what happens when you grind peppercorns — they degrade and eventually turn into powder. While your teeth are far stronger than a peppercorn, the same concept applies. Over time, grinding your teeth will change their shape and erode their enamel, changing their physical appearance and making them more susceptible to developing cavities.
Tooth grinding does not happen silently, and if you ask the partner of a person who suffers from bruxism, they’ll agree that this impacts the ability of family members to get a sound, uninterrupted sleep.
Naturally this leads to the question, how can bruxism or tooth grinding be treated?
A quick dental examination can usually determine whether your symptoms are caused by tooth grinding, and if this diagnosis is confirmed, your dentist will likely recommend a mouthguard.
What is a mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a removable device that can be worn while you sleep. It made to fit over the top or bottom teeth to provide a sort of cushion that makes it impossible for you to continue grinding. It can be custom-made by your family dentist in South Edmonton.
Night guards only work if they’re used consistently, and the biggest deterrent to consistent use is the odd, uncomfortable feeling reported by many bruxism patients.
In order to make the night guard as comfortable as possible, your dentist will make sure it’s built based on a mold of your mouth. This will ensure that the night guard is a perfect fit.
If you are experiencing pain in your jaw and you’re concerned you may be grinding your teeth, call our office at Petrolia Dental in South Edmonton to book an appointment today. We’ll schedule a time to assess your current condition and discuss the treatment options that can help you.