Pensive man looking confusedWhat steps can you take to maintain the health of your smile while you sleep? Brushing and flossing your teeth before bed helps fight the buildup of plaque that contributes to tooth decay and gum disease, but what if an unconscious habit threatens your grin? Grinding and clenching your teeth, otherwise known as bruxism, can wear down the surface of your teeth and cause significant damage to both your appearance and oral health. While certain people may occasionally bite or clench their teeth from time to time, performing this behavior constantly requires an intervention to prevent continued harm. When unaddressed, bruxism can shift the alignment of your bite, chip your teeth, and lead to other issues such as discoloration.

By visiting your Newport, CA, dentist, we can examine the health of your mouth and determine if you exhibit the signs of constant grinding and clenching. When necessary, we will help you stop your grinding habit by providing therapy with an oral guard. By wearing your oral guard nightly, you can protect each row of teeth by separating them while you sleep. Your new appliance can also relieve tension in your jaw from constant stress, allowing you to wake each morning feeling more refreshed.

The Oral Harm Of Grinding Your Teeth

Because we bite and chew every single day, there is an expected amount of slight wear and tear to the surface of your teeth as the years go by. This gradual process generally requires no serious intervention from your dentist, and maintaining preventive care through regular cleanings can help strengthen your enamel. But when wear to your teeth presents at an accelerated rate, the cause may be constant grinding and clenching at night. This process physically wears away at your surface enamel, exposing the inner layers of your tooth to harmful bacteria within. Not only can erosion remove the bright white appearance of your enamel, but you become more susceptible to tooth decay and infection when you lose this protective layer. Because bruxism can be hard to detect until significant damage has already occurred, ask a family member to observe you while you sleep. They may hear the sounds or see the movement of your jaw if you clench at night.

Oral Guards Prevent Harm At Night

Made of a BPA-free material, wearing an oral guard provides a safe, effective treatment for protecting your teeth. We can measure your bite and provide a custom-made solution that can prevent issues that eventually require surgery or repair. Talk to your dentist to see if a night guard can help when you suspect you are experiencing bruxism.

Speak With Your Newport Beach, CA, Dentist About Treating Teeth Grinding

When you wear an oral guard while you sleep, you can protect your teeth from the harm of constant clenching and grinding. To find out more about our treatment for bruxism and other issues with your oral health, contact Dr. Hofkes at Balboa Dental Surgery at (949) 630-0143 to discuss care today.