While most of us don’t get enough of it, sleep remains an essential part of living. Our bodies need sleep to rejuvenate and rebuild. However, the way we sleep matters too. There are certain sleep habits that can do more harm than good. When it comes to your mouth health, these habits including teeth grinding and teeth clenching – otherwise known as bruxism.
Experts estimate that 40 million Americans grind their teeth. While the habit can be performed during the day, most people engage in bruxism while they sleep. This makes it a subconscious habit that is often only detected by a bed partner or family member. The truth is, teeth grinding does far more than disrupt your partner’s sleep. The habit creates an amount of pressure and strain that your teeth and jaw muscles aren’t designed to handle. In fact, teeth clenching can exert hundreds of pounds of force on your teeth at a time, compared to the mere 20-40 pounds that is exerted during normal chewing and eating.
Bruxism is also known for causing several oral health problems over time, including the following:
- Worn down teeth
- Damaged fillings, crowns or veneers
- Jaw pain, stiffness and soreness (TMD)
- Morning tension headaches
- Loose dental implants
- Receding gums
- Misalignment/Shifting teeth
These consequences of untreated nightly bruxism can ruin your smile health as well as sabotage your wallet and your daily comfort. Therefore, addressing your teeth grinding habit becomes very important. The first step is to try to determine why you are grinding your teeth. For many, bruxism is stress-induced. However, teeth grinding or clenching can also occur due to a crooked or misaligned bite or as a symptom of sleep apnea. If you can fix the root cause of your habit, this should always be the first course of action.
If you simply can’t eliminate teeth grinding from your sleeping routine, it is time to see a dentist. At Marietta Dental Professionals, we offer custom night guards to protect your teeth while you sleep. Our night guards are custom fit for ideal comfort and proven to be an effective remedy for nightly bruxism. Don’t let your sleep habits ruin your smile. If you have been told that you grind your teeth during the night or you suffer from the above-mentioned symptoms, please come see us!