Are you grinding your teeth while awake or when asleep?
Do you wake up in the morning with sore jaws or headaches?
Are your teeth becoming flat on the chewing surface or wearing down to nubs?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you could be grinding or clenching your teeth—and your oral health is at risk. This behavior is known as bruxism, and it can do serious damage to your teeth and mouth if left untreated. Help is at hand. Your local Sciota dentists at Chestnuthill Dental can treat bruxism by prescribing a comfortable, customized mouthguard to protect your teeth from the devastating results of this disorder.
What causes bruxism?
In the majority of cases, anxiety and stress are the most common causes of teeth grinding, although sometimes the exact cause of one’s case of bruxism is entirely unknown.
You may also start exhibiting the behavior because of an uneven or misaligned bite. Regardless of the cause, the first step in preventing serious damage from being done to your oral health is to protect your teeth by wearing a mouth guard, also referred to as a night guard.
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The consequences of bruxism
Bruxism is more common than you might think. About 10 percent of all adults in America and as many as 15 percent of children in the United States suffer from this disorder, according to data compiled by the American Sleep Association. Add it up, and that means that more than 30 million people in this country deal with bruxism. Most of these individuals do nothing to protect their teeth from the effects of bruxism.
This behavior can devastate your mouth. In 2009, the Chicago Tribune published an article reporting that as many as 10 percent of all individuals with bruxism grind their teeth down to nubs, requiring total reconstruction. Apply that statistic to our earlier data, and that means about 3 million people in this country have had their teeth worn down to tiny nubs as a consequence of bruxism.
How does this happen? If you grind your teeth, it exerts extreme amounts of additional force upon your teeth. A patient with a severe case of bruxism may exert as many as 600 pounds of additional force per square inch on their teeth. While our teeth are naturally designed to withstand a great deal of pressure when eating and chewing, this additional force can quickly break down your teeth and your oral health.
Bruxism also may lead to bite misalignment issues, as well as jaw dysfunction.
How does Chestnuthill Dental provide treatment for bruxism?
Your first step is to seek the services of a professional, experienced dentist. At Chestnuthill Dental, we begin by assessing your oral health and notating any damage to your teeth so that we can determine the cause of your bruxism. We will recommend a custom-made night guard if we believe that it could benefit you and your oral health.
Why purchase a night guard from the dentist instead of at the store?
You probably have seen night guards available for purchase over the counter in stores. While these night guards are more affordable, they do not provide a secure fit and are less durable. Instead, we recommend a professional night guard that is made of superior-grade materials, making them more durable, and each of our oral appliances is designed from impressions of your teeth and mouth—making for a snug, comfortable fit and a mouthguard that will perform with maximum effectiveness.
Night Guards for Bruxism in Sciota, Pennsylvania
If you believe that you could benefit from a custom-made mouth guard or would like to see if you have bruxism, please contact Chestnuthill Dental by calling (570) 402-4001.