If you are always clenching and/or grinding your teeth (especially while you sleep at night) and you have joint and jaw pain, you should talk to our dentist in Plano TX. Dr. Mark Sowell recommends wearing teeth guards to prevent grinding teeth and curb the behavior. Also known as a dental splint, a teeth grinding mouthguard protects your teeth while you are sleeping and unaware of jaw movements.
Clenching and grinding your teeth (also known as bruxism) along with gum disease are the most serious threats to people keeping their teeth a long time. Over time, our teeth can wear down and break, depending on the intensity and duration of our grinding habit. It is a neurologic condition, so we have no conscious control over it. Some people have lost 50% of their teeth volume by age 30 and some not until age 60, but the problem affects us all. Many are not aware that they have the condition because most people grind their teeth at night. Dr. Sowell can easily diagnose teeth grinding through a simple visual examination and discussion about any symptoms you are experiencing.
Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
There are many symptoms of teeth grinding and some people may not have symptoms at all. Some of the most obvious symptoms include:
- Worn teeth
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Persistent sensitive teeth
- Pain or tightness in the jaw joints or jaw muscles
- Chronic headaches
- Earache and/or facial pain
- Damaged tissue on the inside of your cheek
The Importance of Treating Teeth Grinding
If you do not take steps to stop grinding your teeth, you may cause damage to the structure of your teeth and jaw. This includes chipping your front teeth, cracking your back teeth, wearing away the enamel on biting surfaces and more. That’s where teeth guards for grinding teeth come in. A custom-designed thermoplastic dental guard for grinding can protect and prevent your teeth from further damage. They are small, comfortable and typically worn at night.
Some patients must also wear their custom-made splints when they are concentrating on work or under stress during the daytime. Patients may be advised to become conscious and more aware of their teeth during the day through biofeedback. Our goal is to help you stop the daytime habits that can lead to serious damage to your teeth and gums. Sleep disorders like snoring and sleep apnea can cause destructive grinding as well as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Some anti-depressant drugs additionally can cause clenching and grinding. Also the pH of the mouth caused by diet can affect the rate of wear on teeth. All these conditions are evaluated by dentist Dr. Sowell to get to the cause of the grinding.
Repair Teeth Damaged by Clenching & Grinding
The damage to teeth from grinding can be restored with a porcelain veneers makeover and/or reconstruction. Dental crowns may also be used to protect the teeth. Although, this does not solve the underlying condition. Your mouthguard still needs to be worn to protect your new beautiful teeth and prolong their life expectancy. Our appliances are custom-designed to match the movement of your lower jaw. It will reduce the wear and tear on your muscles and jaw joints from clenching and grinding.