Many people clench their jaw regularly, or chew their cheeks from time to time. But this unconscious action can cause major issues with the teeth and even the jaw..
Bruxism, the medical term for persistent teeth grinding, can alter the shape of the teeth or even how they sit within the mouth. If left untreated, this can require cosmetic dental work or even surgery!
Today, your Overland Park, KS dentist writes on how a night guard may be beneficial for your smile.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the collision of the jaw due to unconscious movement. This includes a variety of actions, including grinding, gnashing, or clenching.
There are two forms of the condition, depending on whether the activity takes place while the patient is awake or asleep during the action. Both sleep and wake bruxism can cause serious damage to the teeth and overall oral health.
Those with bruxism are much more likely to experience other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea (stopping breathing while sleeping) and snoring. The tension and muscle strain can also lead to nagging, persistent headaches.
What Are The Symptoms?
For many patients, bruxism doesn’t cause much concern. It either isn’t persistent or severe enough for them to seek medical attention.
But it often becomes worse over time, and the moment you notice any changes in the shape of your teeth or the comfort of your bite, you should speak with a dentist.Beyond the flattening and cracking of teeth, cheek-biting might become an issue.
As the mouth is the largest opening into the body, there is always an inherent danger of infection. When there are open wounds within the mouth, bacterial infections become much more likely.
What Are Night Guards?
Boil and bite mouthguards are the most common night guards, which are over the counter products that you can find at the drugstore or grocery store. Made of a thermoplastic, by placing the guard into boiling water, you soften it. Afterward, you bite down firmly onto the mouthguard.
If your dentist determines that a more intensive course of action is necessary, they will most likely suggest a custom protector. Made out of a harder material than boil and bite guards, these are formed using a mold that the dentist makes of the mouth. This mold is then sent to a laboratory, where technicians create a slim, sleek protector that is similar to a retainer.
Contact us today for more information or with any questions that you have!
Protect Your Teeth And Save Yourself A Headache!
Your clenching may be doing long-term damage to your teeth, and your jaw. For more information, schedule your consultation by calling Family First Dental in Overland Park, KS, today at 913-381-2600.