If you wake up every morning with a headache or jaw pain, this could be a sign of teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Bruxism is the gnashing, grinding, or clenching of your teeth while you are sleeping. Not only can this prevent you from getting a proper night’s sleep, but it can also damage your teeth.
If your teeth are subjected to the stresses of grinding, your enamel will erode far faster than normal. Nighttime teeth grinding can produce up to 250 pounds of force per square inch. That is a lot of pressure on your teeth!
If you know or suspect you are grinding your teeth at night, come and see Dr. Amy Trujillo of Summit Dental. Find out if a night guard might be the solution for your bruxism. You will sleep better—and you will wake up without headaches or jaw pain.
Grinding Your Teeth and Clenching Your Jaw Cause Problems
Not only do those prone to teeth grinding wake up with pain, but grinding also damages teeth, dentures, crowns, and restorations in the mouth. It can cause tiny cracks in the teeth as well as broken fillings, which can lead to nerve damage. It is also one of the leading reasons why people need to have a root canal.
People who grind their teeth often have sensitivity to heat and cold because teeth are ground down to the dentin. They may also hear a clicking sound when they open and close their mouth, signaling a disorder in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The back-and-forth impact of teeth grinding can also cause gum pockets to form and teeth to loosen. Left untreated, bruxism can cause a lot of problems!
Causes of Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching
Stress is one of the major causes of teeth grinding. Those with more aggressive and competitive personalities are also more prone to teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Smoking, caffeine, alcohol, and some drugs can also increase your risk for teeth grinding. Teeth grinding is also very common in young children, although many of them grow out of by the time they reach their teens. It can also be used as a coping strategy for some.
How a Night Guard Can Help
A night guard is a device that fits between the upper and lower molars, protecting the teeth from grinding against each other. Night guards are available over the counter, but many people complain that they are ill-fitting and often fall out. Dr. Trujillo can make a night guard that is custom-made, so it fits securely and comfortably. With a custom fitting, she will make sure your jaw is properly aligned with the night guard so it doesn't push onto your gums. A custom night guard made by Dr. Trujillo will also last longer than over-the-counter devices, so you will have the benefits of wearing a night guard for many years to come.
You don’t need to put up with jaw pain and headaches! Contact Dr. Trujillo at Summit Dental to find out how a night guard can give you a good night—and a good morning.