Are you grinding or clenching your teeth?-How to tell and how to protect them with a nightguard.

teeth grinding nightguards

teeth grinding nightguardsAre you grinding or clenching your teeth? How would you know? What can you do about it? Should you be wearing a nightguard? SOVA night guard is now available at Embrace Dental Hygiene. Pick yours up today. 519-736-1100

Teeth grinding or clenching. So many people clench or grind their teeth. This is called bruxism. You may be aware of the habit others you may not. Grinding or clenching your teeth can be damaging and dangerous. This damage is cumulative and may not be noticeable to the untrained eye. The good news is most of this damage can be prevented or managed. Your dental hygienist will be able to help you do a self assessment for the symptoms of a grinding habit.

Some of the physical signs of teeth grinding or clenching are:

  • teeth that are sensitive
  • abfraction damage to root of tooth
  • headacheseffects of teeth grinding
  • recession or root exposure
  • bleeding gums or gingivitis
  • chipped or broken teeth
  • attrition or teeth that appear shortened
  • jaw pain or TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder
  • facial pain or upper back and neck pain

 

There are different kinds of grinding or clenching habits. There are also many risk factors.

Daytime habits. Some people grind or clench during periods of stress or during exercise. Others clench even when they are driving. If you are able to catch yourself you may be able to limit or eliminate the habit.

Functional Issues. Your occlusion or your bite can be traumatic. This means when your teeth come together to chew they are not aligning in a healthy way. Even though you are not grinding or clenching you may see some of the above symptoms. I see this in people who may require orthodontics or braces or are missing teeth. I also see this in people who’ve already had braces. Just because teeth look good doesn’t mean the occlusion is ideal. If this is you you need to see another orthodontist or talk to your dental professional about your options. There are day time appliances available and some chiropractors and massage therapists offer treatments.

Night time teeth grinding or clenching. More often than not grinding or clenching is done during sleep. This is when it can be most dangerous. Why? Because you are unconscious and you are not able to limit the force you are placing on your teeth. Your pain threshold is higher.  Therefore damage may occur quickly. The intensity of night time grinding is not always constant. Night time grinders or clenchers have times where they are very actively grinding or clenching. They also have times where they are not. This can be related to stress, occlusion, medications or airway concerns. But nighttime teeth grinding and clenching can be managed. Stress management like exercise, medications or meditation should be considered. Talk to your dental professional about a nightguard. There are many different options. A dentist can fabricate a custom appliance that is worn at night to protect the teeth and jaw joints. Some are worn on the upper teeth and some on the lower. There are also over the counter solutions available. Talk to us about the SOVA nightguard available here at Embrace Dental Hygiene.

Book your first visit to Embrace Dental Hygiene. We are one of the areas only independent dental hygiene practices. Providing a whole body integrative or holistic approach to your dental care. Call today 519-736-1100 or email jen@embracedentalhygiene.com

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