Protect Your Teeth From The Effects of Grinding

Do you have bruxism? Teeth grinding can occur in the day or as you sleep, and you may need a bite guard to prevent damage.

Have you been told that you grind your teeth when you sleep? Even if you’re not aware of it, your partner may alert you to this or else your dentist will certainly be able to see the effects. Grinding your teeth is a condition that affects up to 10 million UK adults and is known as bruxism. Understand why this condition occurs and what you can do to alleviate the symptoms so as to reduce damage to your teeth.

Are You At Risk of Developing Bruxism?

Bruxism, or jaw grinding refers to clenching your teeth and jaws tightly together and then moving them backwards and forwards against each other. This has an abrasive effect on the enamel coating of your teeth which can disintegrate over time.

Certain people are more at risk of developing bruxism than others and surprisingly children and young people are thought to have a heightened likelihood of grinding their teeth due to the deep sleep they enter into.

In adults, those who experience high levels of stress or who suffer from anxiety may develop bruxism. Additionally, those who are on medication or have been consuming alcohol, caffeine or smoking cigarettes are more likely to grind their teeth.

Finally, if you have epilepsy or Parkinson’s Disease, ADHD or a sleep disorder, then these are all risk factors for bruxism too.

Bruxism During The Day

A professional Essex dentist explains that bruxism isn’t just a condition that people experience when they’re asleep though. It’s also possible to grind your teeth during the day, although you’re more likely to be conscious of the habit and take measures to stop yourself doing so. If you feel stressed or anxious, then it can be a good idea to practice positive relaxation including activities such as mindfulness, listening to gentle music, taking a bubble bath or getting out in nature by going for a walk.

Using A Mouth Guard

If your dentist picks up on your bruxism, they may request that you’re fitted for a mouth guard to wear at night whilst you sleep. This can prevent you from grinding your teeth as well as alleviating any damage that occurs if you do. Your mouth guard can prevent you from experiencing headaches that occur due to grinding your teeth, and should also reduce any pain associated with temporomandibular joint syndrome, or TJS that is caused by bruxism. If you wake up in the morning with an uncomfortable bite or a jaw that feels as if it is ‘locked’, then these are all common signs of TJS.

Although off-the-shelf mouth guards are available, it’s far better to opt for a custom-made one which has been moulded to your set of teeth. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth then create your guard out of mouldable plastic. You’ll have the opportunity to try it on so your dentist can ensure that it’s a perfect fit, and you’ll be provided with instructions about wearing your guard as well as learning how to take care of it.

Bruxism is an easy condition to prevent so long as you commit to your regular dental check-ups. If you haven’t been for a while, book a routine appointment today.