Do you wake up in the morning with your jaw clenched? Do you have sensitive teeth? Are the tips of your teeth worn down? You may suffer from bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding – caused by a voluntary or involuntary contraction of your facial muscles – is harmful to your oral health. If you don’t think it’s a big deal, consider this: teeth grinding can create between 250 to 600 pounds per square inch on your first molar.
Teeth grinding can have any of the following symptoms/effects:
The bottom line – teeth grinding is bad news, and it should be addressed like any other medical condition.
Prevention and Treatment
More on Nightguards
There are two ways to go about getting a nightguard. The first is to buy one over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. Before using it, you must soak it in hot water to soften it and mold it against your upper or lower arch.
Get a nightguard made. You can buy an over-the-counter version from any pharmacy that you soak in hot water to soften the material and mold against your upper or lower arch. The downside to buying an over-the-counter nightguard is that it loses shape in one or two months, depending on the frequency of usage. The big plus is that it’s cheaper than getting one custom made.
You can get a custom-fitted nightguard at your dentist’s office in Dallas. At Dallas Dental Care, we start by taking molds of your upper and lower teeth. (Nightguards are made to fit either your upper or lower arch, depending on several factors: alignment of teeth, presence of retainers, jaw structure, number of teeth, missing teeth, and likelihood of dental treatment in the near future.) After taking a mold, you will receive the nightguard in 7-10 days. At the delivery appointment, I check the nightguard for form, fit, and function, making sure that when you bite down, your posterior teeth are separated.
What is the advantage of getting a custom-made nightguard? It’s stable, lasts a lifetime, and most insurance companies cover a portion of the it’s cost. (The cost of nightguards range from $300-$450.)
If you are still experiencing sensitivity – even after wearing a nightguard – you should use sensodyne or any toothpaste high in fluoride. At Dallas Dental Care, we offer fluoride treatments, which take just a couple minutes.
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