Many people grind and clench their teeth at night, and most don’t know they are doing so. Grinding and clenching can also be referred to as bruxism, which can cause significant harm to your teeth and temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Sometimes this habit can cause discomfort or pain in your jaw, face, or head. Nightguards are an excellent way to prevent bruxism and protect your teeth from further damage.
Signs and symptoms of grinding and clenching your teeth are:
- Wear patterns on your front or back teeth – constant chipping or breaking of your front teeth, scooped out patterns on your back teeth or flattened areas of tooth structure and broken or worn-down crowns.
- Constant headaches or sore jaw muscles – constant movement of your jaw at night can lead to inflammation of the jaw joints and cause pain in the muscles controlling your jaw movements.
- Dull aching pain on one or both sides of your face – usually described as less than 5 on the pain scale of 1-10 that radiates in the area. Patients can’t typically pinpoint which tooth is causing pain, but the entire area is uncomfortable.
- Cold sensitivity – sometimes cold sensitivity is a sign of bruxism due to the overstressed teeth in a certain area. The constant stress to the teeth can lead to inflammation, which may present itself as cold sensitivity.
- Gum recession – generalized or localized areas of recession can be contributed from grinding and clenching your teeth. The constant stress on the tooth can cause inflammation of the bone in the area, which will lead to recession of the gums.
Lowell Tooth Docs offers customized nightguards that contain a soft liner inside and hard material on the outside. This ensures maximum comfort and protection while you sleep, but it can also be remolded if you have a crown or filling done. Nightguards are a simple and effective way to protect your teeth from grinding and clenching. If you think you may be grinding or clenching your teeth at night, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to help you find the best solution for protecting your smile!