When you wake up in the morning, do you experience pain in your jaw joint? Do you have difficulty opening or closing your mouth? Do you have sensitivity in your teeth, or do they look shorter? Do you get routine headaches? These could be clear signs of grinding or bruxing. If uncontrolled, you can damage your jaw joint, your teeth, or any dental work you have received from your dentist.
Reasons For Grinding
The exact reason for grinding is still unknown, but there are some factors that are associated with this problem, such as:
- Stress and anxiety
- Drug abuse
- Excess use of caffeine
- Excess use of alcohol
- Some prescription medication
- Malocclusion or miss-bite
- And finally, some disorders, such as:
- Parkinson’s disease
There is currently no cure for bruxing, but it can be controlled. If you grind your teeth during the day or at night, your dentist will recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from these grinding forces. A night guard is a plastic cover that fits over your teeth to deflect the hard forces of chewing. Night guards will also increase the longevity of your dental work.
Night Guard Treatment
During the first visit, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This impression is then sent to a dental laboratory where a custom-fit night guard is made.
On your second visit, your dentist will show you how to place it into your mouth and will adjust it to your bite. There are different kinds of night guards, from soft materials to harder plastic materials. Your dentist will recommend the material best suited for you.