If you often find yourself waking up with a dull headache, a sore jaw, or pain in your teeth, you might want to visit a dentist. These symptoms can be signs of bruxism, which is a condition that causes you to grind your teeth in the middle of the night. According to the American Dental Association, about 10 to 15 percent of adults suffer from this condition. The good news for anyone suffering from this condition is that a dentist can help.
Common signs of bruxism include worn or flattened teeth as well as chips or cracks due to the constant grinding. This is problematic because it can allow bacteria to enter the area and lead to decay as well as unsightly teeth. Your dentist may notice signs of bruxism during a routine dental exam.
You may also notice signs of grinding yourself. For example, your teeth may become sensitive or painful and your jaw muscles could be tight or sore. Sometimes, your jaw may not open or close all the way and you might feel soreness in your neck or face.
This pain can feel like an earache even though it isn’t usually coming from your ear. You may also have dull headaches that feel like they start in your temples because the muscles you use to grind your teeth can be located near the temples.
Often, people who brux accidentally bite the inside of the cheek. Over time, the damage will start to show. You may also notice that your sleep is disrupted. Your partner may hear the sounds of your teeth bruxing during the night.
It is not entirely clear what causes this sleep condition. However, anxiety or stress can often cause teeth grinding. The muscles around the jaw can tighten up involuntarily since during the night, it is believed that you have less control over the muscles than during the day because you are not conscious of the clenching.
One of the most common ways of treating the symptoms of bruxism is a nightguard. This is a custom device that your dentist creates especially for your mouth that you wear this each night while you are sleeping. There are also night guards available at local drug stores, but It is better to get a night guard from your dentist since those will be customized to your unique mouth and they are made of a higher quality material.
The dentist will first take an impression of your teeth and send it off to a lab to be created and you will come back at a later time to pick up the night guard.
Not only will treating bruxism help your oral health, but it can also improve your sleep quality and help to prevent other health issues, such as heart attacks or strokes.
If you would like to know more about night guards for bruxism, please feel free to contact our professional team at the Dental Laboratory Group in Staten Island, NY. Give us a call at (718) 477-6270 today. We would love to speak with you.