A common, though often temporary dental disorder is bruxism. Patients with bruxism may find that they are clenching or grinding their teeth while they sleep. This can have really dangerous effects on your teeth, even if you are doing it for only short periods of time. There are dental devices that can help. At Excellent Dental Specialists, we can customize a nightguard device to fit comfortably in your mouth while you sleep, protecting your teeth.
A nightguard is a plastic device that we can customize to fit comfortably inside your mouth. It will serve as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, protecting them from the effects of bruxism while you sleep. They fit over your teeth so you will not feel like you have a mouthful of plastic. In most situations, your symptoms of bruxism will subside after a brief time, so it only needs to be worn during those times.
People have periods of stress in their normal daily lives. Some people subconsciously respond to these times of stress by grinding or clenching their teeth while they sleep. In most cases, they are not aware that they are doing this, but the effects are clear.
Patients who clench their teeth can cause fractures and breakage in their teeth. This can be both painful and expensive for the patient. Patients who are clenching their teeth while they sleep may find that they are experiencing some of the following symptoms:
|•||Soreness: Patients may be waking up with a sore jaw, or soreness in their face, some patients even report migraines.|
|•||Tiredness: Your facial muscles may feel tight or tired. You may notice a feeling of a release of pressure in those first moments after waking.|
|•||Tooth Sensitivity: You may begin to experience tooth sensitivity, this may be due to hairline fractures, or even breakage in your teeth..|
Patients who grind their teeth can flatten their teeth, losing those divots that assist us in chewing. Wearing down, or grinding our teeth, can be expensive to repair. Patients who grind their teeth while they sleep may find that they are experiencing some of the following symptoms:
|•||Noise: Patients often report that the noise of grinding wakes them in the night, they can hear that they are doing it.|
|•||Visual Changes: You may be able to visually see the flattening wear on your teeth. As the outer layer of enamel is being removed, you may see the yellow of dentin below, giving your overall teeth a yellow appearance.|
|•||Pain: Teeth grinding often leads to breakage or cracks which can be painful.|
|•||Loose: Some patients may actually cause teeth to become loosened from grinding while they sleep.|
Bruxism is often a passing phase, but the damage that it can cause can give a patient lifelong frustration, and very expensive results. This can be managed with the creation and wearing of a nightguard. If you have painful jaws or teeth, and think you might be clenching or grinding, contact us to schedule your consultative appointment.