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Do you ever wake up with jaw pain? If so, you may have a condition called bruxism that causes you to grind your teeth at night. Many patients are unaware they’re grinding or clenching their teeth at night until our Grand Rapids dentists notice worn enamel or have to repair cracks and chips to their smiles.
Here’s what you need to know about teeth grinding and how a custom-made night guard can help cut down on the behavior.
If left untreated, the force exerted from teeth grinding will overwork your jaw muscles and cause you to wake up feeling sore. While bruxism destroys your teeth, it’s often done unconsciously. In fact, many people are unaware they have bruxism until they’re told by our dentists. The sound of teeth grinding can also be enough to wake your partner.
If you recognize any of the above symptoms (especially those that happen when you wake up), call our Grand Rapids dental office to schedule your appointment. The longer you wait to see a dentist, the more likely you’ll need crowns, veneers, and other tooth restorations to repair your smile. A night guard can save you money in the long run by reducing your need for emergency dental care or restorations.
Some people grind their teeth due to stress or anxiety. Grinding or clenching their teeth helps them relieve those feelings while unconscious. Other people grind their teeth because their jaws aren’t aligned properly. When they bite down, the teeth don’t make proper contact and can create an uneven wear pattern on the enamel.
While it’s normal to clench your teeth occasionally, you should see one of our dentists if it becomes a habit. Over time, clenching or grinding your teeth can wear away the natural structure of your teeth. It also increases your risk of chipping or fracturing your tooth under the forces of bruxism.
If you’re waking up in pain, you’re not getting the deep quality sleep you need to stay energized and focused during the day. Fortunately, our dentists can create a custom night guard to protect your smile while you sleep.
A dental night guard is a removable oral appliance that forms a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. While a sports mouth guard is worn while playing contact sports, a night guard is worn while you sleep.
If you have bruxism, we highly recommend you get a night guard as soon as possible. Not only does this appliance protect your oral health, but it prevents you from needing extensive dental work. The forces exerted on your teeth from bruxism are strong enough to wear away enamel, as well as crack or loosen teeth. A mouth guard for teeth grinding will protect your smile so you won’t need restorative dentistry.
Read more: What happens if you don’t replace missing teeth? >>
Adental night guard will help get rid of the headaches you’ve had upon waking, as well as any jaw pain. Many of our patients appreciate being able to get a good night’s sleep without waking up groggy and in pain.
During your first appointment with us, one of our dentists will take impressions of your teeth to send to the dental lab. When you return to our office, your night guard will be waiting. Our dentists may need to make slight final adjustments to the fit of the oral appliance so you can breathe and sleep comfortably.
If you suspect you have bruxism, our dentists in Grand Rapids, MI, would be happy to custom create a night guard for you. The sooner we can get you fitted, the sooner you can protect your smile from the effects of teeth grinding. To schedule an appointment, call Contemporary Family Dental at (616) 209-3969.
This blog post has been updated.
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