WHAT IS BRUXISM?
Bruxism is a condition in which unintentionally you clench or grind your teeth that can lead to tooth erosion and muscle pain. Bruxers are known to unconsciously bite on fingernails, pencils or the inside of their cheeks; however, tooth clenching and grinding typically occur while asleep. Due to the fact that people are not aware of these bad habits, bruxism usually is not diagnosed until it is too late. Bruxism is a common condition that can be easily managed by our caring dentist near you, here at Prestige Dental Care by making you a custom nightguard.
WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL SIGNS OF BRUXISM?
People who suffer from bruxism typically erode the enamel away from their teeth. This exposes the inner, yellow dentin which leads to the development of tooth sensitivity. Moreover, dentin wears seven times faster than enamel due to it being softer and, thus, is easily worn away by not only teeth grinding and clenching, but also by acids from acid reflux and your diet. Usually, the edges of your front teeth or the top surface of your back teeth would look flat due to wear.
Muscle soreness as well as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain are also the result of this condition. Oftentimes, the soreness is more severe in the morning due to clenching and grinding at night when you are asleep. Forceful biting when not eating may cause the lower jaw to move out of proper balance. This causes muscle tension and puts undue stress on your TMJ causing pain and maybe even trouble eating and speaking. Tongue indentations could also be the result of bruxism. In addition, popping and clicking when you open or close your mouth could also be a component of bruxism in your mouth. Lastly, stress has also been theorized to be an important contributor of bruxism in people; nervousness, anger and also frustration have been found to trigger this condition. If you have any of these symptoms, make sure to discuss them with your dentist in Lake Worth at PDC.
HOW CAN I SOLVE MY BRUXISM PROBLEM?
During your check up visits, your dentist will check for physical signs of bruxism. If we notice possible signs of bruxism, we may decide to observe over the next few months to be sure of the problem before recommending therapy.
The objective of therapy is to get the bruxer to change behavior by learning how to rest the tongue, teeth and lips properly. When some people become aware of their problem, simply advising them to rest their tongue upward with teeth apart and lips shut may be enough to change their behavior and relieve discomfort.
If this doesn’t lead to improvement, a custom made plastic mouth appliance would be recommended by your caring dentist. This appliance, called a night guard, is worn during sleep so that it absorbs the force of biting. The idea behind it is to change the patient’s destructive behavior in order to prevent tooth damage.
WHAT ARE CUSTOM NIGHTGUARDS MADE FROM?
Custom made nightguards are made from different types of material depending on your specific needs. The main difference between the several types of nightguards is their degree of rigidity. Specially formed guards are made from a hardened heat cured acrylic resin; the softer forms are created from a heated laminated material. For patients who believe they might be most comfortable with a mixed material, there is a combination option available. With this option, the user is able to have the softer material wrapped in a hard acrylic.
In our experience, hard night guards and the mixed guard are best. There have been accounts of softer nightguards causing more harm than good by fracturing teeth when these become locked into the soft material. Inversely, with a hard night guard the teeth glide on the sleek and transparent material without fear of locking in. Once the teeth are in this more harmonious environment, the muscles relax and clenching and grinding decrease or disappear. Feel free to ask your caring dentist in Lake Worth if you could benefit from a custom fitted nightguard.
HOW ARE NIGHTGUARDS MADE?
When making a custom nightguard for you, your caring dentist in Lake Worth will take impressions of your teeth and will also capture your bite. These impressions will then be used to create molds of your teeth; these molds are an exact replica of your dentition. The material to be used to make your nightguard is biocompatible and it is designed to be kept in your mouth for extended periods of time.The idea behind a custom made nightguard is for it to have a perfect fit in your mouth for a comfortable feeling and to prevent it’s shift and relaxing your facial muscles while you are asleep, keeping your teeth from grinding against each other. After the dental laboratory makes your appliance, your dentist will adjust it as needed to properly fit your mouth.
These nightguards are to be worn every night if they are to be effective. As your Lake Worth dentist will tell, they only work if they are worn consistently. When not in use, you can store them in a clean case. Remember to brush them when you first get up with a soft toothbrush and soap, since most toothpastes have abrasives that can scratch the material.
If you have any questions about how a nightguard could help you with your bruxism, don’t hesitate to ask your caring dentist near you, call us today at (561) 965-3933 or click below for a consultation.