A common dental disorder is the clenching or gnashing of your teeth while you sleep. Known in dentistry as bruxism, this condition is short-lived but can cause considerable damage. Most patients are aware of the signs indicating they are suffering from this problem, and Dr. Gillespie can spot the damage when the condition is severe. Our staff at Life Long Dental can help.
In most cases, teeth clenching or grinding is a reactionary response to a stressful time. This means that the condition comes and goes during high-stress times. If left unattended or ignored, the patient may encounter problems in their dental health that will be time-consuming and expensive to repair. When a patient clenches or grinds their teeth, they are unconsciously applying a large amount of intense pressure and motion to their teeth.
This can cause fractures and the flattening of your teeth. Teeth with fractures can lead to intense pain, and create a passage for bacteria to find entry inside the tooth leading to the need for root canal therapy and the placement of dental crowns. Flattened teeth can cause tooth pain, by reducing the amount of enamel present, and exposing the dentin beneath. Flat teeth also make the chewing of foods a more difficult process.
Signs of Bruxism
Before you see Dr. Gillespie you may notice symptoms indicating that you are suffering from bruxism. Symptoms include:
|Noticing a release of pressure in your jaw when you wake, indicating that you had been tightly clenching your mouth and are only just releasing that tension, and relaxing your jaw when you wake.
|A tired feeling in your jaw, or arches of your mouth.
|Soreness in your oral muscles or the tissues surrounding your teeth.
|Obvious signs that your teeth have flattened, or indications of fracture including chips. Some patients may experience their teeth feeling loose.
|Feeling sensitivity to hot or cold due to decreased layers of enamel, exposing the dentin layer.
|Some patients may have problems such as severe headaches, eating disorders, insomnia, and depression as a result of bruxism.
How can I stop bruxism?
We want to protect your teeth while you are experiencing symptoms. Since the cure for bruxism is time, you need to reduce the incidence of damage while you have it. This condition is related to stress, as the patient passes through the stressful situation, the condition will stop once the situation alleviates. The best thing a patient suffering from bruxism can do is to simply wear a customized device while they sleep. Known as a nightguard, Dr. Gillespie can create a mouthguard designed to comfortably fit in your mouth, allowing you to sleep while protecting your teeth.
A nightguard is a molded acrylic device used to protect your teeth. It is similar to the devices used when playing sports. This simple device can reduce the damage from clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep. Though over the counter options are available, having a nightguard customized to fit your mouth will increase your comfort meaning you are much more likely to wear it.
To learn more, give us Life Long Dental a call at (360) 633-2377 today.