Night Guards and Dental Splints for Teeth Grinding
Have you observed any soreness of your jaw muscles after you wake up? Has your roommate ever complained of you producing this weird sound while you are sleeping? Are your teeth cusps flattened? If so, the cause could be tooth grinding or bruxism.
Bruxism is a parafunctional habit of grinding and gnashing of teeth during night or daytime, consciously or unconsciously. Your teeth contact for a longer period than tolerated and they forcefully rub against each other. For most people, this happens unconsciously during sleep. About 5- 20% of Americans experience grinding but most don’t even realize it. You may not even know that you grind your teeth unless others let you know.
Symptomatically, jaw muscle fatigue, ringing ears, flattened and abraded teeth, and dull headaches characterize bruxism. However, not all these are conspicuous unless condition has gone on for a long time. Some have chronic conditions while others grind rarely. From there, the severity of symptoms varies.
The vigorous prolonged contact of your teeth during grinding can stress your teeth and surrounding oral structures. If this is left unmanaged, bruxism can cause tooth fractures, unsightly flat and mobile teeth, and temporomandibular joint problems. Of course, all of these can compromise dental health.
Many studies identify multiple reasons for tooth grinding. Stress and fatigue are a main factor for many. Unbalanced bite due to poorly made dental restorations or dental appliances can also trigger tooth grinding. Nutritional deficiencies and personality disorders are also cited as possible factors for teeth grinding.
One way to handle bruxism is through dental splints or night guards. Night guards prevent friction between teeth and distribute stress. They are customized acrylic appliances, which you can wear while you are sleeping or when you are stressed. With this, bruxism may still occur but the teeth will be protected.
Advanced Dental Care and Dr. Matt VanderMolen can easily fabricate a night guard or a dental splint for you. An impression of your teeth will be taken and a dental technician will form the acrylic night guard over the replica of your teeth. With few adjustments, Dr. VanderMolen can fit the night guard to your mouth.
Consult Dr. VanderMolen and visit Advanced Dental Care regarding your concern with bruxism and your interest in having splints and night guards. You may also schedule an appointment by contacting our office at 217-546-3333.