Bruxism, or more commonly known as teeth grinding, is quite common and affects about one in four Americans. Some people don’t even realize they have it because it happens naturally or at night while they sleep. People usually grind their teeth to relieve stress, anxiety, or frustration. It shouldn’t be taken lightly because it can cause a lot of damage to your teeth.
Grinding and clenching your teeth can cause jaw pain and headaches, aside from damaging your teeth. It can also affect your partner when he or she hears the constant grinding of your teeth at night. By grinding your teeth, you wear down their enamel and structure. This is the leading cause of tooth trauma and a very significant cause for tooth loss and receding gums.
To physically reduce the pressure on your teeth from grinding, a night guard or occlusal guard can be worn. One of our dentists will fit you with a specially molded night guard to wear while you sleep. It is usually worn on one jaw and serves as a protective barrier between your teeth. It prevents friction from damaging your teeth at night. A professional night guard, made by a dentist, is very important because it ensures a proper fit to your specific set of teeth.
Since Bruxism is associated with trouble sleeping, there are a few things you can do to relieve stress before you sleep. Taking walks or warm baths before bed can relax your muscles and possibly allow you to sleep easier, reducing the amount you grind your teeth.