Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding does not usually cause harm, but grinding regularly can cause teeth to become damaged. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake or clench or grind them during sleep. Because you may have sleep bruxism and be unaware of it until symptoms begin to develop, it is important to understand the signs of it and seek out dental care.
One of the primary ways that teeth grinding is combated is through teeth grinding guards. Smile On Dental Salon and Sleep Apnea Center is your Lakeview and North Shore source for grinding treatment and dental guard selection.
Signs of Teeth Grinding During Sleep
Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth, unless their partner informs them of it. However, a dull, constant headache or a sore jaw when you wake up is a likely sign of grinding. Here are some additional signs of bruxism:
- Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose
- Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
- Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
- Jaw, neck, or face pain
- Sleep disruption
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
- Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s not an ear issue
The primary way that our Lakeview and North Shore dentists will treat nighttime grinding is through a dental guard. Our dentists will fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep. Dental guards can also help to reduce snoring and relieve obstructive sleep apnea. To protect against grinding during sleep, dental guards can keep your top and bottom teeth separated so that they don’t damage each other from the pressure of grinding or clenching.
Why You Need a Dental Guard to Protect Your Teeth
If left untreated, grinding during sleep can lead to further complications. If you neglect to get a dental guard, serious bruxism can lead to:
- Tension-type headaches
- Damage to your teeth, restorations, crowns, or jaw
- Severe facial or jaw pain
- Disorders that occur in the TMJs, located in front of your ears, may sound like clicking when you open and close your mouth.
How to Choose the Best Dental Guard for You
Dental guards are not a one size fits all solution to grinding. There are three types of mouthguards:
- Stock mouth protectors: Often low-quality dental guards that are not fitted to your mouth. They are bulky, make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide little to no protection.
- Custom-fitted mouth protectors: Individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory. First, our dentist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard is molded over the model using a special material. Custom-made mouthguards provide the most protection and comfort.
- Get in Touch
If you suspect that you are grinding your teeth and require a custom dental guard, contact our dentist at either 773-525-5545 (Lakeview) or 224-282-8938 (North Shore).