Do you ever wake up in the morning with aching teeth or sore jaws? Does your sleep partner notice you grinding your teeth in the middle of the night? If so, you’re like the one in three Americans who grind their teeth, many of whom actively seek ways to stop grinding teeth at night.
Grinding your teeth – a condition known as bruxism – is more than an irritation. The pressure on your teeth wears them down over time, and, if your bruxism is particularly bad, can cause your teeth to chip or crack. It’s especially hard on crowns and the teeth they grind on, as ceramics can be harsh on natural enamel. While you’re damaging your teeth, you’re also likely not getting a good night’s sleep, either.
We catch bruxism during an exam (another reason to schedule regular visits!) after grinding has already caused some damage to your teeth. Obviously, you don’t want it to go that far! So, please make it a point to speak with your dentist if you think you suffer from bruxism.
There are many reasons you may be grinding your teeth at night. Some of them may be in your control! Avoid drinking alcohol later in the evening, as bruxism is more common after alcohol consumption as your muscles relax. Likewise, cut back on caffeine, which can cause grinding. Bruxism is sometimes a symptom of unmanaged frustration or psychological issues such as anxiety or depression, and could signal a need to visit a mental health professional.
Sometimes, people just grind their teeth for reasons we can’t explain. If that’s the case for you, we help you protect your teeth with a custom night guard. Similar to an athlete’s mouth guard, a custom night guard fits into your mouth to protect your teeth. But they’re so much different than an athletic mouth guard! First off, they’re think acrylic and custom made to fit your teeth, and they fit more securely than the “boil and bite” athletic guards you may remember. Second, they’re much, much more comfortable . Night guards’ precise fit makes them much smaller than an athletic mouth guard. After a few nights of adjustment, most patients fall asleep barely recognizing they’re wearing one.
Because untreated bruxism harms your teeth, it’s important to talk to your dentist to discuss ways to stop grinding teeth at night. Contact Alpine Dental Health’s nearest location and schedule a consultation with a dentist today.