Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a sensation that usually occurs while a patient is sleeping. Teeth grinding is a common problem; It affects 10 percent of people and as many as 15 percent of children, according to the American Sleep Association.
When this occurs, it means you’re grinding your teeth unknowingly, which can lead to jaw soreness and headaches. If you continue to grind your teeth and don’t seek treatment, you can have more severe problems, such as misalignment and cracked or damaged teeth. However, with proper treatment, it’s not a serious problem, and a nightguard is an easy treatment solution.
People often ask whether they need a nightguard. You may not realize you’re grinding your teeth because, of course, you’re asleep! Here are some signs that you should try a nightguard.
- You often wake up with a headache, jaw soreness and/or a popping or clicking sound in your jaw. Headaches and jaw soreness are the most common signs of grinding your teeth in your sleep. These two symptoms, combined with an abnormal sound coming from your jaw, are significant signs of teeth grinding.
- You are experiencing stress or anxiety. Stress and anxiety are the leading causes of teeth grinding; they can cause you to clench your jaw while sleeping. If you have been experiencing stress and/or anxiety and have noticed other symptoms of teeth grinding, you should make an appointment with Dr. Banik to discuss getting fitted for a nightguard.
- You have an abnormal bite or crooked and/or missing teeth. If you have an abnormal bite or crooked and/or missing teeth, you are more prone to teeth grinding. Action does not need to be taken if you are not experiencing symptoms, but if you are, it is a good idea to make an appointment.
- You have a sleep disorder. Patients who have sleep disorders can experience teeth grinding. If you have a sleep disorder such as Sleep Apnea, contact us to discuss solutions.
- Your partner complains about it. Some people grind their teeth so loudly their partner can hear it. If yours reports hearing crunching or odd sounds, talk to your dentist.
A nightguard is a thin, durable mouth insert that keeps you from grinding your teeth at night. They are slightly different than a mouthguard you might wear for sports. Nightguards protect a patient’s teeth while also being comfortable enough to wear while sleeping.
We recommend a custom Nightguard for the best fit. You can order nightguards online, but they won’t fit well, making it uncomfortable to wear.
During your visit with us, the team will take an impression of your teeth. The material is shaped around the mold and made sure to fit perfectly around your teeth impressions. The impression process only takes a few minutes, and we’ll call you back in a week or two to try it out so we can confirm a good fit. Dr. Banik will also talk to you about proper usage and care.
If you think you might be grinding your teeth, contact us for an appointment or ask us about it during your next dental visit.