Has someone told you that you grind your teeth when you sleep? Approximately one in three people grind their teeth at night. Nocturnal teeth grinding is medically known as “bruxism.” Occasional bruxism is normal, but persistent bruxism can cause serious dental issues. It can also negatively impact your overall health.
When you regularly grind your teeth at night, it can harm them. Your teeth are not meant to consistently handle that much stress. Teeth grinding can wear down your natural teeth. Some patients grind their teeth so much that their teeth have worn down to nubs! It can cause tooth fractures, extreme tooth sensitivity, and damaged teeth.
Teeth grinding can also be overtaxing on your jaw. It can make your jaw muscles sore and lead to a jaw joint disorder known as “TMJ” or “TMD.” Teeth grinding can also contribute to temple headaches and ear aches.
If you grind your teeth at night and have experienced any of the aforementioned symptoms, Dr. Bigelow can help provide relief for your bruxism. Dr Bigelow and his exceptional staff will perform an overall oral exam to make sure bruxism is what’s ailing you. Then, they will work to identify the cause of your bruxism.
Patients who suffer from bruxism have typically been associated with the following conditions:
- Sleep disorder
- Sleep apnea
- Having a misaligned jaw or teeth
- Increased stress and anxiety
- Side effect of certain medications
- Alcohol consumption
- Cigarette smoking
- Caffeine consumption
- Excessive snoring
Dr. Bigelow and our team will try to discover the source of your bruxism. Then, they will walk you through treatment plans. Bruxism is often treated with a customized mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep. Your mouth guard will be tailored to the exact specifications of your mouth, allowing it to have a comfortable fit in your mouth. Dr. Bigelow can also guide you on lifestyle changes and jaw alignment exercises that can reduce nocturnal teeth grinding.