If you are experiencing persistent headaches, it may not just be the stress from work. You may be grinding or gnashing your teeth while you sleep! This condition, known as bruxism, can be seriously damaging to your smile. It can wear down the individual dental structures, and also can reshape your alignment due to the repetitive movement.
The action can be incredibly forceful, enough sometimes to even crack or break enamel. Patients may also notice a flattening or the shortening of teeth due to the wearing down from friction. Today, your Newport Beach, CA dentist explains how a simple night guard may be able to prevent this sort of damage before it even occurs. Preventive care almost always winds up with superior results!
People who suffer from bruxism may notice the signs in a variety of ways. Firstly, if their condition occurs at night, they may be noticing that they are not getting a decent night’s worth of sleep. They may also have persistent, recurring headaches that radiate around the jaw, often into the neck. Their facial muscles are unable to relax throughout the night, causing fatigue and strain.
There may be changes that occur to the look of the mouth, as well. If you notice any changes happening, always inform your dentist, so they can look and ensure everything is healthy. People with bruxism can see shifts in both the orientation and the shape of their teeth. Both of these changes are warning signs that should be heeded.
If you are an adult and you are noticing a shift in your smile’s alignment, you should note this and tell your oral health professional. It can be a sign of many issues, including oral cancer. This is not generally something that happens significantly in a fully developed mouth, so it is important to note.
Your teeth also might literally be ground down by your action. If you feel that the tops of your molars feel more blunt, or if you feel your incisors are seeming a little smaller, do not ignore this. You could be erasing dental matter from your mouth.
Night Guards May Help
Due to the nightly activity of some suffering from bruxism, it is incredibly difficult to fully stop the motion from happening. Instead, our safest move is to prevent the jaw from closing with force. A night guard may be the best option for you, as it helps a huge variety of actions.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are available at your local drugstore or supermarket, and they operate similarly to those used for athletics. You place the thermoplastic material into hot water for a set amount of time, then bite down directly. This forms a solid mold that you can wear overnight. We also produce custom guards that can be slimmer, and less intrusive. These can help people struggling with sleeping using a guard.
Call Us For More Information!
If you have any questions about how a night guard might help alleviate your discomfort, please give Dr. Hofkes at Balboa Dental Surgery a call at (949)630-0143. Or stop by our office here in Newport Beach, CA!