Prevent Teeth Damage
Grinding your teeth happens when you are not in control, so the more that it happens, the more you are subjecting your teeth to enamel loss. This enamel erosion can then cause over-sensitivity. As a result, your mouth may barely stand hot or cold beverages and food. Additionally, without enamel protecting your teeth, your teeth become more susceptible to decay. When the decay continues into the hard enamel of the teeth, you are likely to develop infections.
Teeth grinding also causes damage by fracturing a weak tooth and wearing out any fillings. The surface of the teeth can handle the pressure associated with chewing and biting, but the additional pressure from clenching and grinding is not sustainable. As a result, the tooth fractures or cracks. Besides suffering the excruciating pain that comes with tooth fracture, you will have to make trips to the dentists for treatment. Sometimes the dentist can do a filling but you may end up needing more costly treatment like crowns, root canals or tooth loss. Tooth loss can be fixed through bridges or implants.
Prevents Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw and the skull and affects the muscles you use to chew. As you clench your teeth in your sleep, you apply pressure into the TMJ, which can cause misalignment. When misaligned, you develop TMJ dysfunction. The disorder causes difficulty in chewing, pain around and in your ear, and even headaches. You may also damage the articular disk which is irreparable and can cause disk displacement. This can lead to your jaw unexpectedly locking open or closed which may lead to a trip to the ER. Wearing a night guard prevents the disorder’s development because it eases any tension you can cause on the muscles.
Prevent Chronic Headaches
Chronic neck aches and headaches are usually the first symptoms of possible bruxism since TMJ dysfunction manifests itself through migraines. The tensed muscles in the neck, shoulders, mouth, and jaw cause headaches. However, before you rush to diagnose yourself as suffering from bruxism, you can check that the headaches are indeed being caused by teeth grinding and clenching. One way is to look at the surface of the teeth; if instead of being pointed, they have flattened, most likely, you grind your teeth in your sleep. Another way is to look for a recession of gum and bone which can happen because of clenching. A custom-made nightguard eliminates headaches because you no longer have to tense up the muscles.
A one-size-fits-all nightguard costs $20 but is not recommended because it will be uncomfortable. A dental nightguard custom-made for you can cost around $800, which can seem like breaking the bank for most bruxism patients. However, the amount should not limit you from getting a nightguard. When you compare the cost of a nightguard with the cost of restorative dentistry, the former is cheaper. Once your teeth wear out and get fractures, restorative dentistry will be the only way out for your dental problems. Fillings, crowns, tooth loss, which can be replaced with implants, and fixing your bite are costly.
Seek a Professional’s Help
Unless you visit a professional who can diagnose you with bruxism, it is hard to know if the headaches, tooth sensitivity, or TMJ are due to teeth grinding and clenching in your sleep. Besides, dentists recommend a custom-made nightguard, and there is no way to get that without an oral hygiene specialist’s help.
If you are someone who experiences teeth grinding and would like to seek treatment then contact Smiles for Health today!