What Is Bruxism?
If you wake up in the morning with a headache or sore jaw or have noticed flattening of your teeth, you may be clenching your teeth at night. Teeth grinding and clenching is known as bruxism and is a common oral condition that affects many people during sleep or when feeling stressed and anxious. It can also have a significant effect on your TMJ (temporomandibular joints), gums, tooth restorations, and tooth structure in general. A range of oral damage, including gum recession, chipped dental crowns or enamel, cracked teeth, and additional concerns, may also result from the habitual grinding and clenching of your teeth.
Teeth grinding can interfere with the quality of your life and lead to uncomfortable symptoms and conditions. To help our patients stop grinding their teeth, improve their oral health and wellness, and minimize oral damage, general dentist Dr. Peter Nishino is pleased to offer night guard therapy. A night guard is a customized dental appliance for teeth grinding that is worn over the upper or lower teeth while you sleep, which is when teeth grinding most often occurs. Made of high-quality materials, like acrylic, night guards protect the teeth and jaw joints by keeping the jaw in a proper position and preventing friction between the upper and lower teeth. Anyone can suffer from bruxism, including children. To treat teeth grinding in Friendswood, TX, get in touch with Made Ya Smile Dental to schedule a visit for yourself or a family member.
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What Are the Symptoms of Teeth Grinding?
You or a loved one may be clenching or grinding your teeth without even realizing it. While the precise cause of teeth grinding is not fully understood, several types of lifestyle, environmental, and medical factors may be contributing to or exacerbating teething grinding or clenching at night. Parafunctional habits (like gum chewing and nail-biting), stress and anxiety, tooth misalignment, sleep disorders, and even genetics can lead to a bruxism condition. Signs and symptoms of bruxism often include:
• Frequent headaches
• Tired or sore jaw
• Facial or tooth pain
• Ringing in the ears or earaches
• Jaw tenderness or tightness
• Limited range of jaw movement
• Popping noises when opening jaw
• Discomfort when biting or chewing
Teeth grinding and clenching on a habitual basis can cause painful symptoms and discomfort. It can also lead to broken or chipped teeth, damaged fillings, gum recession, TMJ disorders, worn enamel, and uneven biting edges, along with other conditions. Dr. Nishino is experienced in helping identify factors contributing to a teeth grinding habit and offers relief through palliative care and night guard therapy. A consultation with our dentist can help you determine if teeth grinding is affecting your smile, comfort, and general well-being.
How Is Teeth Grinding Treated?
Made Ya Smile Dental is proud to offer customized treatment solutions to help you manage your teeth grinding habit and protect the future of your smile. During your consultation, Dr. Nishino will evaluate your oral health and symptoms to determine you suffer from bruxism. We may pair night therapy with palliative care to improve your condition and preserve your oral structures. Palliative treatment usually takes place at home and includes the application of moist heat or cold compresses to the jaw, exercises for stretching facial muscles, and anti-inflammatory medications.
If a dental guard for teeth grinding is determined to be a good treatment option for you, we will take impressions of your teeth for our lab to use in fabricating your custom night guard appliance. Night guards are typically made of hard acrylic or other high-quality materials that sit comfortably in your mouth while protecting your teeth and jaw from damage. These types of appliances usually only take a week or two to make. Our team will bring you back into our office when your night guard is ready and have you try it for comfort. Dr. Nishino can make any necessary adjustments at that time to ensure it fits securely and supports your treatment needs.
How Can I Care for My Mouth Guard?
Dr. Nishino and our team will provide instructions on how and when to wear your bruxism appliance. Wearing it as recommended can help to relieve your symptoms, manage TMJ disorders, and protect your teeth and gums from further damage. Even if you start to feel better and your symptoms subside, it is still important to use your night guard as recommended by our Friendswood, TX team. It is best to clean your appliance thoroughly after each use and keep it stored in a plastic container when you are not wearing it. We will give you instructions on how to care for your night guard and suggest that you bring it with you to your routine biannual cleaning and exam visits at Made Ya Smile Dental. These visits, along with good home care each day and wearing your night guard as suggested, can help keep your smile in top shape.
Are Night Guards For Teeth Grinding Covered by Insurance?
Our Friendswood, TX practice is a participating provider for many PPO dental insurance plans. To learn if your specific plan offers coverage for night guard appliances, we will contact your provider and review your benefits. Dr. Nishino and our caring team want you and your family to enjoy comfortable, high-quality smiles and are pleased to accept a range of easy payment options, including low-cost financing through CareCredit®. If you have a personal expense for your care or do not have dental insurance, we will work with you to find a convenient solution that can help you prevent teeth grinding that matches your family's budget.
Teeth Grinding FAQ
What happens if you don't treat teeth grinding?
If you don't have your bruxism treated, it could lead to problems with the muscles and joints in your jaw and your teeth. We suggest seeking out the help of a Friendswood, TX dental care provider as soon as possible if you have a sore jaw or wake up with unexplained headaches as this is often the first indication of a teeth grinding issue.
What are common causes of teeth grinding?
Some common causes of teeth grinding include:
- Medications (commonly found with psychiatric medications like antidepressants)
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Family members with bruxism
- Certain disorders (Parkinson's disease, dementia, GERD, epilepsy, sleep apnea, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
What are some ways I can help reduce my teeth grinding?
Aside from the assistance of our Friendswood, TX, dentists, you can try some of the below practices to reduce teeth grinding at night:
- Reduce stress by listening to music, taking a bath, or something else.
- Avoid stimulating substances in the evening like coffee and alcohol.
- Get a good night's sleep.
- Ask your sleeping partner to be aware of grinding or clicking sounds so you can let your dentist know.
Protect Your Smile Against Teeth Grinding
When bruxism affects your family's health and wellness, Dr. Nishino and our team can help. Teeth grinding and clenching habits can harm your smile by damaging fillings, tooth enamel, gum tissues, jaw joints, and other oral structures. Teeth grinding can also interfere with your overall comfort and lead to headaches and jaw pain. We offer custom night guard therapy and palliative care to help you overcome the effects of bruxism and protect your smile. Schedule a treatment consultation at Made Ya Smile Dental in Friendswood, TX today to find relief from teeth grinding and jaw clenching.