Are You Grinding Your Teeth? What Can You Do?
While you might not realize it, your discomfort could be the result of teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can occur in children and adults. One way to target grinding is to cut back on caffeinated drinks and foods like soda and chocolate, and for adults, eliminate alcohol. Also, don’t make daytime chewing on non-food items a habit.
Here we will discuss many important factors that relate to teeth grinding. Topics discussed include:
- Risks and solutions: If you do grind your teeth, what are the consequences and what can be done to fix the problem.
- Nightguards: Are they an effective solution?
- Side effects of nighttime grinding: Do you experience jaw discomfort, neck discomfort, or have headaches?
- Teeth grinding in children: Can it be dangerous?
- Price: What’s the cost of a custom nightguard, and where can I get one?
Risks and Solutions
During teeth grinding, we apply extra forces to our teeth and present dental work, leading to grave consequences of this uncontrollable habit. So many people suffer from teeth grinding both during the day and at night. Many do not even realize that they are doing it.
Nighttime teeth grinding is often more damaging as it can not be controlled while we sleep. Uncontrollable nighttime teeth grinding can chip teeth, wear down the enamel, cause facial discomfort, jaw problems, and also increase tooth sensitivity (to hot and cold drinks). If you have been grinding your teeth regularly at night for many years, by the time you get between the age of 40-50, there is a very high chance you might need dental work to fix the effects.
All about nightguards:
A solution to end nighttime teeth grinding
A simple solution to nighttime teeth grinding is a nightguard. Nightguards are devices that should be put into your mouth when you sleep. The goal is to stop the grinding and prevent further damage to your teeth and pre-existing dental work.
Read More about TMJ symptoms
What are the side effects of nighttime teeth grinding and excellent solutions?
The biggest concerns are:
– TMJ symptoms
– Inability to open your mouth
-Discomfort during chewing
– Headaches or neck discomfort
Some things you can do to help relieve these side effects include minimizing jaw movements, eating softer foods, and using relaxation techniques. By using an ice pack on your jaw, it can also help lessen the discomfort. However, none of the methods mentioned will get rid of any discomfort completely. The most effective way is to wear a nightguard, which is a simple device that can be worn to help you break the habit over time.
At all of our offices, we make soft nightguards that are custom-fit to you. Custom-made, soft nightguards, are more comfortable to wear and tend to stay in a mouth all night. Thus, protecting you from the effects of nighttime teeth grinding.
Additional benefits of nightguards are:
1. They can help prevent cracked fillings and tooth decay.
The materials used for fillings are durable, but over time, teeth grinding can have harm them – after all, they are made of plastic. The materials in the fillings will eventually crack due to grinding, and once this happens, cavities can develop in the cracks of the filling material.
2. They can eliminate discomfort and headaches.
Some of the things that can occur from teeth grinding are headaches, earaches, jaw and neck discomfort, and stiffness within the facial area. These symptoms are signs of a stressed TMJ and can make you feel miserable in your day to day life. Nightguards can make a difference when it comes to these symptoms. The device stops the upper and lower teeth from coming into contact with each other, eliminating tension to the face and taking the pressure off of your TMJ. The nightguard also helps to slightly re-position the teeth, which decreases jaw discomfort significantly.
3. They can help improve your sleep pattern.
Nightguards are so comfortable in your mouth that they can significantly improve your quality of sleep and also help you have a more structured sleeping pattern. The guard is positioned in a way that relaxes your jaw. Thus, keeping the muscles in your mouth as relaxed as possible. Also, the fact that the nightguard alleviates discomfort is another reason why it improves sleep – making for a happier you!
Do you have TMJ?
Children, who grind their teeth – is it dangerous?
Children can also suffer from nighttime teeth grinding, just like adults. A reported 15-33% of children allegedly grind their teeth, which is quite a significant statistic! Grinding of the “baby” teeth isn’t known to cause many problems in children, as permanent teeth will replace their baby teeth. The problem is, after the adult teeth come in, if the child is still grinding their teeth, this will result in the same problems that adults experience as previously detailed. The child might need crowns or a nightguard to help with the grinding, and you should consider doing this sooner rather than later.
How much for a custom nightguard for teeth grinding?
It’s crucial to get a custom nightguard because it will fit you, and only you. Nightguards that you can buy for $10 or so in most stores won’t be useful because they are not designed for you or your mouth. A custom nightguard will give you the maximum possible benefit, which you will experience shortly after beginning to wear it. We are a high-quality Lincoln dental clinic, and we can make your custom nightguard for $75. Now, that’s pretty affordable!
Because we think you can never be too informed when it comes to your health, we’ve listed some of our most frequently asked questions below.
How do you treat bruxism naturally? Your Lincoln dental center answers: Bruxism is the process of grinding one’s teeth. It tends to occur while sleeping and, therefore, can be challenging to control. By protecting the teeth with a nightguard, the wearing away of the tooth structured decreased.
Can bruxism be cured? Your Lincoln dental center answers: By practicing stress management, yoga, and meditation, one can try to stop grinding their teeth naturally. Muscle relaxers can be used, if necessary, to relax the muscles that support the jaw to lower the chances of grinding. There isn’t a cure for grinding, but there are preventative measures that can be taken to try to reduce the possibility of bruxism or to help protect the teeth during the process.
Why do I keep clenching my teeth? Your Lincoln dental center answers: One of the main reasons for clenching is stress. Some tend to do it as a habit even though they aren’t necessarily stressed. Occlusion, or the way our teeth come together, can also affect how much we clench our teeth. If clenching starts after the placement of a filling or crown, please check your bite.
Can a nightguard shift your teeth? Your Lincoln dental center answers: If a nightguard is not correctly made, it can cause some slight shifting of the teeth. However, within the first 10-30 minutes of waking up, the teeth should start to feel normal again. Mouthguards are meant to fit tightly and are only worn on one arch, and usually while we sleep.
On the whole, there are many benefits to wearing a nightguard, and you can learn more about bruxism here from the Mayo Clinic. This way, you’re well informed and can make an excellent decision when it comes to your oral health. Locally, you can visit one of our Lincoln dentists to find out how we can help alleviate your jaw discomfort and help stop teeth grinding.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Your Lincoln Family Dentists
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