There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to refresh and revive you for a new day. Quality sleep can have many positive effects on your overall health. However, if you’re grinding your teeth at night, you could be unconsciously wearing away at the quality of your sleep – and your life.
How can you know if you’re grinding your teeth at night? What are some of the short- and long-term effects of teeth grinding (also referred to as bruxism)? And what can you do to prevent these negative effects? Read on to learn how to alleviate and prevent nighttime teeth grinding.
According to the American Sleep Association, 10% of adults and 15% of children grind their teeth at night. But how can you know if you’re grinding during sleep? Here are a few signs to look for:
It can have many potential causes, including stress and anxiety, a misaligned bite, or even a sleep disorder.
Over time, teeth grinding can have serious, painful, long-term negative effects on your health. Severe chronic bruxism could eventually result in chipped, cracked, or even loosened teeth. Damaging your teeth in this way could mean you’ll need expensive dental treatments later on as a result.
Besides the possibility that you could damage or lose teeth, later on, you could also experience painful effects of TMD (temporomandibular disorder) if nighttime bruxism is left untreated.
The first step to treating grinding and preventing further damage is to visit your dentist. Your dentist can assess the seriousness of your grinding habit, what damage has already been done, and if additional testing is needed to determine if you have a serious sleep disorder.
A custom night guard may be recommended to help prevent grinding. A night guard is a plastic custom-fitted oral appliance that you’d wear while sleeping to prevent clenching and grinding. A professionally made custom-fitted night guard is comfortable and easier to wear than store-bought, ill-fitting mouth guards.
Other ways to minimize the painful effects of teeth grinding include:
In conclusion, nighttime teeth grinding doesn’t have to wear you down. If you suspect you might be grinding your teeth at night, visit your dentist to assess the situation and discuss whether a custom night guard could help. We’d like to help bring your bruxism to a grinding halt!
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