The medical term for the grinding of teeth is bruxism. It is a common condition where a person clenches or grinds their teeth. The cause of this condition is not clear, and there is no cure yet. However, there are ways to prevent further damage. Medical professionals recommend the use of mouthguards. This helps limit the night grinding and clenching of teeth.
Mouthguards are not suitable for everyone. However, there are other treatments that you and your doctor can pursue. If you think you grind your teeth at night, here are a few signs you can check to make sure.
Unexplained Chipped or Damaged Teeth
If you have been grinding your teeth for a long time, this could be a sign that the teeth grinding has become worse. The pressure from the grinding weakens the enamel and your teeth can chip. This can lead to cavities, or worse, damage to teeth. Thus, see a doctor as soon as possible to get a mouthguard.
You might notice that your top and bottom teeth are not fitting together properly. The clenching and grinding might have loosened your teeth, causing misalignment. Your teeth might be painful, and your jaw sore. You might also notice that you have sores on the inside of your cheek. Before things get worse, talk to your doctor about ways to realign your teeth and stop the bruxism.
Waking Up With Weird Headaches
Do you wake up in the morning with a throbbing headache, especially at your temples? This could be a sign of bruxism. Although a mouthguard may not stop you from clenching your teeth, it will help with grinding. Relaxation exercises as you are turning in for the night can help you sleep well.
Clicking or Popping Sounds in Your Jaw
You may feel this when you open your mouth, yawn, or even when you are chewing. This will cause difficulty and discomfort when chewing. It could also cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Before it becomes serious, see a doctor and get a mouthguard. Also, discuss other therapies you can go through to help you relax and sleep better.
You Have Sleep Disruption
If you clench and grind your teeth, it is also likely you have other disorders like sleep apnea. It is not clear where the correlation comes in, but research shows they have a relationship. If you notice you have disrupted sleep and receive treatment for it, it can help with the bruxism. In the meantime, you can get a mouthguard.
Severe Facial and Jaw Pain
By the time it gets to this point, it has developed into a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. It is time to see a doctor as the paint will only get worse, not better. Get medicine, a mouthguard, and go through some therapy to promote behavior change.
To learn if you need a night guard for grinding teeth, contact Robert A. Rees, DDS, at our office in La Jolla, California. You can call (858) 454-6181 today to schedule an appointment.