Read how bruxism can affect your smile.
Have you ever been woken up by the dull crunch of your own gnashing teeth? Did you simply shrug it off only to find that, come morning, you had an awful pain in your jaw? You could be suffering from Bruxism, or teeth grinding.
Bruxism is a form of involuntary clenching habit, bruxism normally takes place while you are asleep, and is not a learned behavior but usually brought on by stress.
Is it deadly? Thankfully no. Even so, Bruxism can be unpleasant and harmful to your teeth and jaw.
What do I do in my sleep?
There are two types of bruxism activity:
1- Where we manipulate our jaw muscles involuntary: one is rhythmic quick and repetitive. When you’re chewing, for example, your bite force pulses are very minute, often only accounting for a fraction of a second.
2- The other activities result in longer bite force pulses of 1 to 30 seconds, such as clenching and releasing your jaw.
A major cause for this second type of bruxism is stress. Sadly tension and worry can cause you to unwittingly clench and unclench your jaw for several seconds at a time. If you’ve ever caught yourself biting hard in concentration, or tensing up your jaw while you focus on an important task, you’re familiar with how easily we can subconsciously clench our jaw muscles involuntarily.
Researchers have classified bruxism as a sleep disorder, as it disturbs our sleep and can give us severe pain. A misaligned bite can increase grinding and clenching, enticing bruxism activity even when you’re completely unconscious.
A disturbed sleep habit is not only unhealthy for your teeth. It can have an impact on your health in general. So what’s disturbing your sleep?
The effects of bruxism on your teeth
Since grinding and clenching overworks your jaw muscles, these behaviours can result in discomfort, headaches and earaches, in addition grinding your teeth daily will slowly erode your teeth away.
Other effects of bruxism include:
Malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth
Temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ): discomfort and poor functioning of the chewing muscles in the lower jaw
Severe bruxism can result in dental nerve exposure and the pulp dying.
Trauma to the teeth and tooth loss
A disturbed sleep habit can result in sleep apnea, which is not only worsens your quality of sleep, but also your quality of life.
If you are suffering – what can you do?
If you suffer from bruxism, a visit our specialist team at Gipsy Lane Advanced Dental care we will help determine the best course of action to target the habits underlying your clenching and grinding.
The primary goal is to reduce discomfort, improve sleep, and prevent long-term damage to the jaw and teeth. Common treatment for the condition is to wear a night guard.
Wearing a mouth guard: A dental guard is effective at reducing tooth abrasion and muscle strain. Our team at Gipsy Lane will create a mold of your mouth to ensure that the instrument is completely customised for your bite. The guard works by allowing the upper and lower jaw to move easily and independently of each other. This will provide a protective barrier and prevent the repeated, grinding contact that erodes the teeth and exhausts the jaw muscles.
What is the best way to repair my eroded teeth?
Sadly a night guard can only prevent the damage to your teeth occurring – In some cases where the damage has already happened, such as tooth fracture or for the biting surfaces of the front teeth are heavily worn. If the grinding is on going it can adversely affect the long term success of treatment and might require a stronger type of restoration. Depending on the level of tooth destruction we will advise you on your best options.
We highly recommend that you come in and see us. Your condition will not go away without some kind of intervention. Our cosmetic experts can put your mind at ease regarding your symptoms and place you on the right pathway to help minimize the damage and rebuild your smile again.
Contact us on 0118 966 5656 or contact us by email