Do you or someone you know have a habit of grinding?
No, we don’t mean a certain dance move, crushing something into small particles, or the routine of daily tasks. We are talking about the grinding of teeth – also called bruxism.
Bruxism is known as the habitual, unconscious and involuntary activity of grinding, gnashing, or gritting of the teeth and clenching of the jaw. It usually happens during sleep and is often associated with stress, fatigue, anxiety, and certain medical conditions. If untreated, it can lead to severe damage to teeth, gums, and jaw muscles, facial pain, headaches, abnormal wear patterns, and increased tooth sensitivity.
Because it usually happens during sleep, most people are unaware they suffer from bruxism and aren’t informed until a loved one mentions it – due to the noise created by the grinding of teeth being extremely loud!
A routine dental exam will allow your dentist to recognize signs of bruxism, diagnose, and treat accordingly. While there isn’t an actual ‘cure’ for bruxism, treatment often includes repair to damaged teeth and gum, TMJ/TMD therapy, bite adjustment, biofeedback devices (allows the dentist to “see” and “hear” feedback from your jaw/mouth), and mouth guards.
Mouth guards can be purchased at retailers, online, or custom-made by your dentist. While a custom mouth guard is the most expensive option, it may also be the best option. Your dentist will create a mold of your jaw and teeth and use it to fabricate a thin, comfortable, reusable guard that will prevent clenching and grinding – relieving and decreasing bruxism. Everyone’s mouth is completely different, which means you will have more success with a personalized mouth guard.
If you have questions about bruxism or need a new mouth guard, the team at Bestcare Dental is ready to customize your entire treatment plan, reduce the nighttime noise for your loved ones, and decrease any further damage to your jaw and teeth.
*Picture Source: Denture Adhesives