Deerfield, IL
(224) 282-8939

Lakeview, IL
(773) 525-5545

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 while awake or grind them during sleep. Because you may have sleep bruxism and be unaware of it until symptoms develop, it is essential to understand its signs and seek dental care.

One of the primary ways that teeth grinding is combated is through teeth grinding guards. Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center is your 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

What is a Dental Guard?

Our dentists will treat nighttime grinding primarily 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 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, severe 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 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 provide little to no protection.
  • Custom-fitted mouth protectors: These are individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory. First, our dentist will make an impression on your teeth, and then a mouth guard is molded over the model using a special material. Custom-made mouthguards provide the most protection and comfort.

Studies show dental night guards can protect teeth and prevent tooth wear. They act as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, absorbing most of the force being applied when you are grinding and clenching your teeth. A large portion of the population experience some form of grinding and clenching—especially while asleep—and most people with bruxism (tooth grinding and clenching) don’t exhibit any immediate symptoms. However, patients who grind their teeth show wear on their teeth and gum line indicating the problem, often before they become symptomatic.

If you suspect you are grinding your teeth and require a custom dental guard, contact Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center today.

Be proud of your smile.