Nightguards in DuPont Protect Teeth From Harm
If you catch yourself grinding your teeth every now and again, then chances are you’re not doing any serious damage to your smile. A stressful situation such as driving in heavy traffic or taking an important test can cause even the calmest of people to grind or clench their teeth. However, when teeth grinding or bruxism is a habit, then you need to see your dentist. With nightguards in DuPont, the dentists at Dupont Family Dentistry can protect your teeth from the harmful effects of teeth grinding.
Why Do I Grind My Teeth?
Stress and anxiety are among the leading causes of teeth grinding. This action is actually wired into our brains as part of the “fight-or-flight” response that was handed down to us from early man. You may notice that when you are in a stressful situation, you just naturally clench your jaw and bite down hard on your teeth. Most people feel the pressure on their molars, but some clench their front teeth. When the anxiety-inducing situation passes, your jaw relaxes and your bite loosens.
Another reason for teeth grinding is an abnormal bite that results from crooked or missing teeth. In this case, you may grind your teeth in an attempt to have your teeth meet normally. Research has also demonstrated a connection between sleep apnea and teeth grinding as well.
What are the Symptoms of Teeth Grinding?
When bruxism is habitual, it usually occurs at night. Because you are asleep while grinding your teeth, you may not even be aware of the action. However, the person sleeping one pillow over or others in nearby bedrooms may recognize the disturbing sound immediately.
Other signs and symptoms are:
- A sore jaw
- Fatigued facial muscles
- A stress headache around your temples
- Sensitive teeth because of worn enamel
- Worn, chipped or even fractured teeth
- Feeling like you have an earache, but there are no signs of infection
In addition, persistent bruxism can lead to problems with your temporomandibular joints, which is also known as TMJ dysfunction. These joints are located on either side of your face just in front of your ears. They allow you to open and close your mouth and often bear the brunt of bruxism’s painful side effects. People with TMJ dysfunction often complain of a sore jaw, a locked jaw or a jaw that pops when they try to open or close their mouth.
Treating Teeth Grinding in DuPont
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or if someone has told you that you grind your teeth at night, then your dentist in DuPont can help. A custom-fitted nightguard is an oral appliance that is typically worn over your top row of teeth. When in place, a nightguard does not stop teeth grinding, but it does prevent your upper and lower teeth from grinding against one another. This small but important step can relieve the pressure on your jaw and keep your teeth from wearing down abnormally. Contact our practice today to schedule your first visit!