Are you waking with a sore jaw, suffering sensitive teeth or getting headaches quite a lot? Is your partner complaining you’re making a grating sound when you sleep? You may be severely grinding your teeth.
Is teeth grinding normal?
Almost all of us grind our teeth, whether we realise it or not. Some degree of teeth grinding is normal and causes no problems at all. However, when it becomes excessive or forceful, this can create a wide range of issues, which can have a negative impact on our day-to-day activity.
There are many reasons why we can really grind our teeth and, yes, stress is one of them. Most of the time we unconsciously get preoccupied with matters, even in our sleep, which can lead to severe teeth grinding.
What problems can be caused by excessive teeth grinding?
When you grind your teeth excessively or too forcefully, you can wear out the enamel or the outer layer of your teeth. This exposes the inner part of the tooth, leading to sensitivity to certain types of food. This can be very painful.
Incessant teeth grinding or clenching can also cause other problems such as headaches and muscle pain, as many of the muscles in the area are being over used.
Another concern with teeth grinding is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, which is a painful, complex condition that hurts the jaw, affects the joints, and can result in locking of the jaw.
What’s the best way to minimise teeth grinding?
Wearing a nightguard, also known as an occlusal splint, is most effective at helping you reduce teeth grinding.
What’s a night guard and how does it help teeth grinding?
A night guard is like a small and thinner version of a mouthguard. It’s made from a hard plastic material and acts as a physical barrier that stops your top and lower teeth gnashing against each other.
With a night guard in place, the enamel of your teeth is protected and only the material of the night guard gets worn away (this can be replaced easily).
Can I buy a night guard over the counter?
No, night guards aren’t readily available over the counter. While mouth guards may be purchased over the counter, they’re made from a soft, spongy material that’s different from the hard night guard material. Over-the-counter products are also not custom-fitted and, therefore, will likely slip off your teeth at night.
Is a night guard comfortable to wear at night?
Having something foreign in your mouth may be uncomfortable at first, but most people get used to it after a while.
The ones created by Dr Ashby and Dr Narayana fit over your top teeth like a thin mouthguard. As long as your night guard is properly adjusted by your dentist, you should be able to sleep comfortably with it.
Night Guard Shepherds Hill Dental
Do you grind your teeth? Think you may need a night guard? See us today for a consultation – simply call Shepherds Hill Dental Centre on 08 8278 6858.