If you wake up in the morning with headaches, sore teeth, or an aching jaw, these are signs of teeth grinding and clenching while sleeping. This common problem is easily treatable with a customized night guard from Smiles by the Sea in Hampton, New Hampshire. This conservative treatment is immediately effective and protects your oral health while eliminating discomfort and improving quality of sleep.

Dental Problems Caused by Teeth Grinding

Woman wearing night guard

Teeth grinding can be an ongoing problem for some people, while others only experience it sporadically. It is important to treat this unconscious habit as soon as you recognize it to avoid causing damage to your teeth, gums, jaw joints, and muscles.

Teeth grinding can result in:

  • Damaged dental work
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Gum recession
  • Broken or cracked teeth
  • Clicking or popping jaw joints
  • Tenderness when eating
  • Headaches

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. Even though teeth deliver and withstand an incredible amount of force when you’re eating, chewing only happens for minutes every day with short moments of contact between top and bottom teeth. Any activity beyond this normal wear and tear – like teeth constantly gnashing against each other while you’re sleeping – will result in negative side effects and numerous oral health problems and chronic pain.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

People who grind their teeth at night are said to suffer from a condition call sleep bruxism. There are several possible causes of chronic teeth grinding:

  • Misalignment
  • TMJ problems
  • Abnormal bite
  • Missing teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Sleep apnea
  • Extreme stress

It is important to try to diagnose the source of the teeth grinding so the right kind of dental care can get underway. For some patients, Invisalign treatment for misalignment or crooked teeth could be the solution. For others, replacing missing teeth can correct the problem.

Most patients, however, will find that the easiest and fastest way to immediate relief is with a customized night guard. Wearing this appliance every time you go to sleep will minimize and sometimes even eliminate the side effects of teeth grinding – and it will do so right away.

Benefits of a Customized Night Guard

If your Hampton family dentist determines that you are a good candidate for a night guard, you will have impressions taken of your teeth and the molds will then be sent to a dental lab so your appliance can be created. This clear, smooth, snug-fitting mouth guard will offer immediate relief from teeth grinding and protect the upper and lower teeth from each other. A full-coverage guard – meaning it fits on the entire top arch of your mouth – is durable and comfortable to wear while sleeping.

A powerful method of preventive dental care, night guards prevent your oral health from deteriorating because of excessive teeth grinding. Sleep bruxism is easily treatable, and you do not have to suffer with the pain this condition causes. You can avoid the dental problems that can develop because of teeth grinding, and all with one simple appliance.

Get a Night Guard for Teeth Grinding from Your Hampton Family Dentist

Teeth grinding is not a problem that resolves itself. No matter how much meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises you may do before you go to sleep, this isn’t always enough to stop an unconscious habit like teeth grinding from wreaking havoc.

Oral health problems will build on each other over time. Worn enamel can become a cracked tooth which is susceptible to bacteria and food particles which can develop into an infection and require root canal therapy, a porcelain crown, and maybe even tooth extraction and then a dental implant. All because you grind your teeth.

Avoid a dental emergency and painful and costly dental restorations. Find out whether you are a good candidate for a customized night guard. Schedule an appointment at Smiles by the Sea in Hampton to learn more.