The idea that you grind your teeth during the night could sound like one of those old jokes, but, just like snoring, it’s far from funny. It’s a medical condition that is potentially dangerous to your overall health, and the sooner you can take steps to correct the problem, the better you’ll be for it. Getting a custom teeth grinding guard enables our Surrey BC patients to address bruxism during sleep, resulting in a better night’s rest and a healthier lifestyle.
Consequences of Night-Time Teeth Grinding
Night-time teeth grinding or bruxism is usually related to hyperactivity, sleep apnea, or acid reflux. Usage of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol or drugs can also cause nighttime distress, however, and some depression medications list bruxism as a side effect. Whatever the reason for your condition, it can have serious negative consequences for your life. Here are some ways it can impact you.
- Dental Damage: Grinding your teeth during the night places excessive pressure on both your upper and lower teeth. This can cause cracked or fractured teeth, wear down those teeth in particularly vulnerable locations, and grind down the tooth enamel to the point that cavities develop. Some of this damage can be addressed with tooth fillings or dental crowns, but in many cases, patients only seek dental care when the enamel is worn right through and exposes the tooth pulp. This creates a prime environment for bacterial infections, leading to periodontic disease and tooth loss.
- Fatigue: People who regularly grind their teeth during the night complain of sleep disturbances, which can leave you drained and exhausted. This causes a number of problems, including daytime fatigue and difficulty functioning effectively.
- Mental Health Challenges: A lack of restful sleep not only leaves you tired the next day, but it can cause difficulty concentrating and prevent you from focusing or thinking clearly. It also leads to mood problems such as anger and depression, which can cause havoc with your relationships.
- Head and Jaw Pain: Regular night-time teeth grinding can cause headaches, earaches, and sinus pain. For regular migraine sufferers, an episode of bruxism can trigger a full-blown migraine attack. The pressure of grinding on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can also result in jaw pain, which can become progressively worse unless it’s treated.
- Grooming and Appearance: Looks do matter, as anyone who has ever had to go for a job interview can confirm. You don’t need to have model teeth or hair to make a good impression, but you do need to have a clean, healthy smile and good grooming. Worn-down, cracked and broken teeth caused by night-time bruxism are unlikely to be attractive to prospective employers, which can have a huge impact on your career and financial success.
Your self-esteem and confidence in the way you view yourself are instrumental in living a healthy, happy life. For anyone suffering from fatigue, damaged teeth, headaches and other pain, it’s very difficult to be positive and confident of your abilities and the impressions you leave in society. Bruxism can take all this away from you if you allow it to continue without treatment, but a teeth grinding guard gives our Surrey BC patients an affordable solution.
Steps to Fix Night-Time Teeth Grinding
The first step in addressing your bruxism is to get a proper diagnosis. Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists, during which we’ll examine your teeth for signs such as flattened tips, inflamed gums, and deterioration of the tooth enamel. We’ll discuss any other symptoms you might be experiencing, and we’ll take the entire picture into account before giving you a diagnosis.
Next, we’ll recommend a course of treatment that could include being fitted for a teeth guard, undergoing additional dental procedures, and a medication review. For example, if you show signs of cavities, you will need to get tooth fillings where appropriate. Worn down teeth may be restored using crowns or veneers, depending on the degree of damage, and cracked or broken teeth can be rebuilt or they may need to be extracted and replaced with dental implants. For use during sleep, a teeth-grinding guard helps our Surrey BC patients to get a good night’s rest without the ongoing problems caused by bruxism.
Don’t let night-time teeth grinding impact your health and lifestyle negatively. At Nordel Crossing Dental Centre we aim to help you live your best life. For more information on mouth guards and other bruxism treatments, please click here to schedule an appointment with us.