Even if you don't notice any teeth grinding during the day, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep. This issue, which is also known as bruxism, can lead to serious problems if left untreated.
What is bruxism?
The term bruxism refers to any incidence of grinding or clenching your teeth. However, many people with this problem engage in grinding at night while they are asleep. It is considered a movement disorder, and it is more likely to occur if you have other sleep-related problems. Some of the symptoms of bruxism may include increased tooth pain and sensitivity, tight jaw muscles, worn tooth enamel, flattened teeth, chipped teeth, dull headaches and sleep disruption.
Bruxism may have a variety of causes. Some of the risk factors that may lead to bruxism include stress, family history, age, certain medications and specific personality types.
If you don't treat bruxism, you can develop significant complications. Some of the most common complications associated with bruxism include severe jaw or facial pain, chronic headaches, damage to the jaw and damage to teeth and/or dental restorations. Fortunately, it is possible to treat bruxism and prevent these complications from developing.
The most common treatment used for patients who grind their teeth in their sleep is a night guard. A night guard is a specialized dental device that is worn during sleep. These devices are usually constructed of soft materials or hard acrylic materials. The purpose of these devices is to protect the teeth and the jaw from damage.
Getting a night guard
It is possible to purchase a night guard from the store. However, because these devices are placed over your upper and lower teeth, they need to fit properly. Devices purchased from the store don't tend to be as comfortable or to fit as well as a device created by a professional.
If you think you may need a night guard, the best thing you can do is visit a dentist. Your dentist will be able to examine your mouth and diagnose night grinding. He or she will then be able to take a mold of your teeth and create a device designed to fit your teeth properly.
Santa Clarita Advanced Dentistry is proud to offer treatment for night grinding. Please contact our office today to schedule an appointment.