Do you sometimes feel like your teeth are a little bit more sensitive than usual? Do you find yourself clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth at night? If so, you may be suffering from bruxism. Bruxism is a condition that affects millions of people each year and can cause a lot of damage to the teeth if left untreated. In this blog post, we will talk about what bruxism is, the symptoms to look out for, and how to treat it using a night guard.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a term used to describe a condition that refers to the grinding of the teeth and the clenching of the jaw. It can be caused by a number of different factors, including stress, anxiety, misaligned teeth, or an abnormal bite. Bruxism can also occur during sleep, which is known as sleep bruxism. In fact, many people who are affected by the disorder often don’t even realize they have it since it only happens while sleeping.
There are a number of symptoms that can indicate that you have bruxism. Some of the most common include:
- worn enamel
- damaged teeth
- tooth sensitivity
- facial pain
- sleep problems.
- ear aches/tinnitus
If left untreated, bruxism can lead to prematurely worn down enamel, damage to the teeth, and even tooth loss. Bruxism is also a common contributing factor to the development of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Not only that, but bruxism will affect the other surrounding structures, such as the muscles in the head, neck, and shoulders. Ear pain is also common since the jaw joint sits just below the ear canal, so jaw inflammation is often felt through the ear.
One of the best ways to treat bruxism is by using a night guard. A night guard is a custom-made device that fits over the teeth and helps to prevent them from grinding together. Night guards also help to reduce muscle strain in the jaw by positioning the jaw so that the muscles can relax at night.
Night guards can be very effective in preventing further damage to the teeth and can help to improve sleep quality. If you think you may be suffering from bruxism, talk to your dentist about getting a night guard. They can help you to find the right one for you.
Your dentist will fit you for a nightguard by taking a dental impression. A dental impression is a procedure used to take a mold of the teeth. This is accomplished by placing a thin material called alginate into the mouth and allowing it to set. The alginate will then harden and will form a replica of the teeth. This replica will be sent to a dental lab and used to create a custom-made nightguard.
In this blog, we have talked about what bruxism is, the symptoms to look out for, and how to treat it using a night guard. If you think you may be suffering from bruxism, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist. They can help you to find the right treatment for you. Thanks for reading!
Dr. Alina Huang has been practicing dentistry in Manhattan for the last eight years. She was born in New York City, and raised in California where she received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and her D.D.S. at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. She then made her return to NYC where she completed her General Practice Residency at Montefiore Medical Center and has been working in private practice ever since. She continues her learning by attending courses to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry and refine her skills.