Have you been experiencing headaches, jaw pain, and chronic interrupted sleep? Although your first thought may be to shrug it off, these could be symptoms of a much bigger issue, like bruxism. According to the American Sleep Association, this habit of unintentionally clenching or grinding your teeth affects 10% of adults and 15% of children in the U.S. alone. If you think you may be suffering from this condition, then it is important to seek treatment before it irreparably damages your teeth. Read on for common causes and how your dentist can help.
5 Common Causes of Teeth Grinding
Professionally referred to as bruxism, the habit of unintentionally grinding your teeth could be a result of several physical, psychological, and genetic factors. While extensive research is still being conducted on this medical condition, decades of findings support that the below five causes are associated with teeth grinding:
- Untreated anxiety, stress, or tension.
- Lifestyle habits, like drinking alcohol and using tobacco products.
- Certain medications, like antidepressants.
- Misalignment of the jaw.
- Medical disorders and diseases, like Parkinson’s disease and Huntington disease.
How a Custom Nightguard from Your Dentist Can Help
If bruxism is left untreated, it can wreak havoc on your smile. In addition to flattening, fracturing, and chipping your teeth, this condition can wear away at the enamel of your tooth and lead to several dental issues (including tooth sensitivity). To prevent this from happening to you, your dentist can create a custom mouthguard for you to wear at night. Not only will this protect your teeth from unsightly damage, but it can also relieve soreness from your jaw and stop the pain in your neck, face, and ear from the incessant grinding.
Additional Benefits of Wearing a Nightguard
Although nightguards are widely known for their ability to effectively protect your teeth from conditions like bruxism, they can do more than just that! Patients who opt for a custom mouthguard from their dentist can also experience an improved quality of sleep, less tension and pain, and the monetary benefits of avoiding costly restorative options down the line.
If clenching or grinding your teeth are negatively impacting your smile and quality of rest, then it is time to speak with your dentist about using a custom mouthguard. That way, you can protect your teeth from the harmful side effects of this condition so they can stay in tip-top shape!
About the Author
After obtaining his undergraduate degree from Northeast Louisiana State University, Dr. L. King Scott earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Louisiana State University School of Dentistry. In addition to having over four decades of experience under his belt, Dr. Scott is a proud recipient of the Academy of General Dentistry’s highest honor, the Lifelong Service and Recognition Award. Plus, he is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry (MAGD dentist), which less than 2% of general dentists achieve! If you would like to speak with him about having a custom nightguard made, don’t hesitate to visit his website or give him a call at 318-325-4600.