If you’re someone who grinds their teeth at night, you might assume it’s due to stress. While that certainly could play a role, there are plenty of other factors that could contribute to it as well. But whatever the reason, teeth grinding can cause significant problems throughout your life. Learning how to stop teeth grinding at night is an important element of dental health.
It’s entirely possible you may not even know that you are grinding your teeth. Figuring out if you’re a grinder usually requires a relationship with a dentist, who can identify the signs.
Teeth grinding is known in the profession by the clinical name of bruxism. The dental team at Lovett Dental can recommend a good bruxism treatment, such as a dental nightguard. There are other approaches too.
Teeth grinding is not a habit individuals should allow to go on without treatment. If you do it too much, for too long, with too much energy, teeth grinding can cause your teeth to loosen, crack, fracture, and even fall out.
In certain extreme cases, grinders destroy their teeth by grinding them down to just above the gums. To heal from this requires expensive and painful restorative dentistry, such as bridges, crowns, or even dentures. Addressing bruxism sooner rather than later allows you to avoid this unpleasant circumstance.
In milder forms, the grinding could cause a loss of the protective enamel on your teeth. Once that exposes the layers underneath, you are at greater risk of accelerated tooth decay as plaque turns into bacteria and causes harmful effects.
Whether mild or severe, you want to learn how to stop teeth grinding at night.
One of the principal causes of teeth grinding is sleep disturbance, such as sleep apnea. So bruxism treatment may begin with looking at your sleep habits. What’s causing the apnea or other difficulties, and is there counseling or other types of treatments that can help ease the pressure on your mouth? It might be as simple as learning not to drink coffee or other types of caffeine stimulants later in the evening.
Your general dentist may offer you some relaxation techniques to release tension from your jaw. Some of these involve awareness while awake -- recognizing the position of your tongue and your jaw and knowingly adjusting as you recognize the problem.
One straightforward treatment is to be fitted for a mouthguard -- kind of like the mouthguards worn by professional football players, or a nightguard. These guards are plastic and fit over your teeth to absorb the brunt of the grinding. You might wear them at night while you sleep, but during the day as well.
Again, it may be possible that you don’t recognize that you are grinding. There are some grinding signs that many don't associate with it, and so overlook the condition. These include symptoms such as:
Getting treatment for bruxism can help alleviate these symptoms and improve your dental health.
Teeth grinding is not a healthy habit to cultivate. It can cause problems with your mouth and jaw that last for a lifetime. Learn how to stop teeth grinding at night by becoming a patient of Lovett Dental. Our experienced dental staff will provide you a complete range of general dentistry services, including regular checkups, professional cleaning, and fillings and sealants.
We also can offer pediatric and cosmetic dentistry and are here for you in the unfortunate event you experience a dental emergency. Crowns, veneers, bridges, and implants are all available through our dental practice.