Teeth grinding, clenching or gnashing is called bruxism and can severely impact your oral health. Many people are unaware of their tendency to grind their teeth, whether they develop the habit when awake or tend to clench their teeth while they sleep. Mild bruxism may not have a noticeable effect on your teeth. Ongoing, severe bruxism may require treatment to address jaw disorders, damaged teeth, headaches and other consequences of teeth grinding. Dr. Ashwini Bhave at Bay Area Dental Specialists offers teeth grinding relief with custom-fitted mouthguards.
Warning Signs Of Bruxism
People with sleep bruxism may be unaware of the issue until they develop warning signs of teeth grinding that affect their oral and overall health. Those with high amounts of stress, anxiety, tension or frustration may be more likely to grind or clench their teeth, and this unconscious habit may eventually cause these issues and more:
- Damaged Teeth: Consistent teeth grinding may flatten, fracture, chip or loosen otherwise healthy teeth.
- Worn Tooth Enamel: The clenching and grinding can wear away the shiny, protective outer coating of the teeth (tooth enamel) and reveal the yellowish dentin underneath.
- Increased Tooth Pain and Sensitivity: Damage to the teeth may make you more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures or cause tooth pain.
- Jaw Disorders: Teeth grinding may tire or tighten the jaw muscles and lead to a locked jaw that won’t close or open fully. Some patients may develop TMJ disorders.
- Unexplained Pain or Soreness: Clenching the jaw muscles can lead to face, neck and jaw pain or soreness with no other identifiable cause.
Additionally, some people may hear from their partner that they were loudly grinding their teeth in the night and woke their partner up. They may struggle with sleep disruptions, damage to the soft tissues inside the cheeks, dull headaches and earache-type pain not linked to an ear issue. Existing dental restorations, such as dental crowns, may break from the pressure of teeth grinding and require replacement.
Teeth Grinding Relief in San Jose
Dr. Bhave understands how teeth grinding can impact oral health and general well-being. At Bay Area Dental Specialists, she offers custom night guards to reduce the damage caused by teeth grinding. These custom-fitted appliances are placed over the upper or lower teeth to protect the teeth, jaw and oral tissues. The night guards are made with hard plastic to prevent the teeth from wearing down, improve jaw pain and stop gum recession caused by bruxism.
Custom-fitted night guards are best because they fit your bite precisely and provide the best protection. Using top-quality materials, a dental lab forms the night guard to the exact shape and placement you need with detailed instructions from Dr. Bhave. If bruxism has already damaged your teeth, Dr. Bhave can improve the function and aesthetics of your smile with dental restorations and other treatments.
If you struggle with teeth grinding, contact Bay Area Dental Specialists in San Jose, California, today at (408) 809-7760 or request an appointment online.