Do you wake up in the morning with aching teeth or sore jaw muscles? This could indicate teeth grinding, which typically occurs when you are asleep or when you are stressed, leaving you completely unaware of when it’s happening.
Teeth grinding, also known as Bruxism, is a condition that affects many people. It can be detrimental to your oral health, as it can irreversibly damage your pearly whites and leave you in pain. That is why it’s important to seek dental care at the first signs of teeth grinding, which includes a combination of aching teeth, sore jaws or headaches. At With U Dental, we will help you protect your teeth from the adverse effects of teeth grinding.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the involuntary grinding or clenching of your teeth. When it occurs at night, you are most likely to be unaware of it as you are asleep. However, there are several signs that indicate the possibility of teeth grinding. These include:
- Painful jaw muscles or teeth
- Cracked, chipped or loose teeth
- Neck or ear pain
- Sensitive teeth
If you experience any of these symptoms, we recommend scheduling a consult with our friendly dentist at With U Dental ASAP to identify the underlying cause.
Why Does Teeth Grinding Occur?
Stress, anxiety and sleep disorders are some of the most common causes of teeth grinding. A misaligned bite is yet another common cause. A misaligned bite is when your upper and lower jaw comes together without your teeth fitting together comfortably.
This can make biting and chewing challenging and even wear down your teeth, increasing your risk of painful tooth sensitivity, cracks, infections and tooth decay.
How Can Teeth Grinding Damage My Teeth?
When you grind your teeth or try to compensate for your misaligned bite by chewing or biting hard, it can damage your teeth, wearing down the enamel of your teeth. The enamel is the protective outer layer of your teeth, and wearing down of the enamel can leave the dentine of your tooth exposed, leading to issues such as tooth pain, cracks, sensitivity and even tooth loss.
That’s not all. Excessive teeth grinding can also put strain on your teeth and jaws. Over time it can cause inflammation of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and cause damage to these joints.
To avoid extensive damage to your teeth and your smile, it is important to address the issue of teeth grinding early on. So, if you suspect you are grinding your teeth, it’s important to visit your dentist for a proper diagnosis because tooth damage from grinding is preventable with early detection. Our dentist may then recommend grinding appliances – a common method used to manage teeth grinding.
How Can Grinding Appliances Help?
Grinding appliances are dental devices worn over your teeth to prevent them from grinding together. These custom-made grinding appliances will help reduce the pressure of teeth grinding, preventing the wearing down of your tooth enamel.
There are 2 main types of grinding appliances. They are:
Night Guard (Occlusal Splints)
Worn at night, occlusal splints or night guards will prevent your teeth from grinding and clenching while asleep. Fitted over your teeth, these night guards help relieve tension in your muscles and joints, preventing further damage to your teeth. The night guard will be crafted after taking impressions of your teeth, using the latest technology to get the most accurate fit.
Mandibular Advancement Device
A Mandibular Advancement Device, also known as a snore guard, is used to move your lower jaw slightly forward. This dental appliance is commonly used to manage sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea. As your jaw is slightly repositioned, it helps relieve pressure on the temporomandibular joint and improve your breathing while asleep.
In this manner, grinding appliances help by absorbing the force of grinding, preventing your teeth from grinding against each other, and protecting them from wear and damage. They also reduce pressure on the TMJ by helping reposition the lower jaw and improve your quality of sleep by reducing clenching and grinding at night.
How to Care for My Grinding Appliances
The key to getting the maximum benefit out of your grinding appliance is by taking proper care of it. Here are some tips on how you can care for your grinding appliances:
- Rinse your grinding appliance with lukewarm water to remove debris stuck to it after each use.
- Avoid using hot water for cleaning purposes as this could warp or damage your appliances.
- Clean your grinding appliance gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush. You may soak your grinding appliance in an alcohol-free mouthwash for about 30 minutes for deeper cleaning.
- Leave your grinding appliance to dry before storing it in a dry and cool place when not wearing it.
Custom-Made Grinding Appliances at With U Dental
Tired of waking up with all sorts of facial pains and toothaches? Look no further than With U Dental, where we offer our patients custom-made grinding appliances that meet their individual needs.
Made to ensure a perfect fit over your teeth, our grinding appliances offer better results than over-the-counter products. You’re guaranteed to feel the difference because comfort and protection go hand in hand with our grinding appliances.
There’s more! At With U Dental, it’s not just about providing quality grinding appliances. We will go the extra mile and give you the knowledge to care for your dental appliances. We also provide several payment plans to help you get the dental care you deserve when you need it most.