What Is Bruxism?
Waking up in the morning with a tired or sore jaw, headaches, or feeling unrested is often a sign of a bruxism habit. Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, is a common condition among patients that can cause damage to the teeth and jaw joints, including enamel wear, gum recession, broken teeth or fillings, and TMJ disorders. This habit may result from a variety of factors. Stress, sleep disorders, anxiety, and uneven chewing surfaces are just a few of the stimulants that may lead to teeth clenching or grinding habits. To treat cases of bruxism and protect the teeth and jaw, our dentist offers night guards and personalized treatment plans to minimize the effects of this condition. Night guards are custom dental appliances for teeth grinding made of high-quality and durable materials that sit between the upper and lower teeth while you sleep.
Effective night guard therapy can help keep you from grinding your teeth together when sleeping and prevent damage to your jaw joints, teeth, and gums. You may be suffering from a teeth grinding habit if you have chipped or worn teeth, flattened edges, broken or damaged fillings or other restorations, and even gum recession. Bruxism often results in uncomfortable symptoms like jaw and tooth pain, recurring headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and limited jaw opening. This condition can affect patients of all ages. To learn more about treating bruxism with effective night guard therapy, please get in touch with Made Ya Smile in Katy, TX today.
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What Are the Symptoms of Bruxism?
Bruxism most often occurs at night while sleeping but may also have during times of stress and in response to lifestyle, environmental, and medical factors. Even parafunctional activities like chewing on ice, pens, or gum and biting your fingernails can contribute to the effects of bruxism. Though the exact cause of bruxism remains unknown, these factors along with genetics, misaligned teeth, sleep disorders, and uneven biting surfaces can be a source behind this type of activity in the mouth. Leaving a teeth grinding habit untreated can bring a range of problems to your oral health and general health, including broken teeth or restorations, a receded gumline, chronic headaches, TMJ dysfunction, and upper back, neck, and facial pain. A consultation with our dentist can help you identify symptoms of bruxism and formulate a plan to prevent further damage from this often debilitating condition.
Night guard therapy to treat teeth grinding and clenching may be ideal if you have one or more of these signs and symptoms of bruxism:
- Difficulty opening or closing your jaw
- Facial, neck, shoulder, or upper back pain
- Toothaches or jaw pain
- Discomfort when biting or chewing
- Recurring headaches
- Chipped, broken, or sensitive teeth
- Damaged or loose restorations
- Worn or flattened biting edges
- Popping or clicking in the jaw
- Ringing the ears or earaches
How Is Bruxism Treated?
To diagnose a bruxism condition, our dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and jaw joints and ask you questions about any symptoms you may be experiencing. We work with a special dental lab to create high-quality customized night guards, which are appliances made of durable acrylic or other materials that are worn over the upper or lower teeth. Night guards protect your teeth, gums, restorations, and jaw joints from damage by preventing you from involuntarily grinding and clenching your teeth. Our dentist may also suggest palliative treatments to be performed at home or other solutions like orthodontics care or adjustments to the bite to provide the best possible care for your oral health needs.
Night guards work by keeping the upper and lower jaw in ideal relation to one another and prevent you from grinding and wearing away tooth structure. We will take upper and lower impressions of your mouth for our lab to use when creating your custom night guard. When your appliance arrives at our office, we will schedule to come in for a fitting and make any necessary adjustments to ensure your guard fits you comfortably and can work effectively. You will be shown how to place and remove your night guard and providing directions on how to care for it and store it at home. Maintaining your night guard properly can help ensure it protects your smile over the long-term.
How Can I Care for My Bruxism Mouth Guard?
Wearing your bruxism appliance each night as recommended by our dentist can reduce your teeth grinding symptoms damage to your mouth and jaw joints. We still recommend using your night guard even if your symptoms improve to prevent further damage and flare-ups of discomfort. Your night guard will work to keep your teeth and jaw joints in a healthy position to enhance your comfort and overall dental health. Additional palliative care recommendations may be made by our team to further improve your comfort at home. These may include the use of moist heat and cold compresses against the jaw, certain exercises and stretches for neck and facial muscles, and anti-inflammatory medication.
To keep from overworking your jaw muscles, it is best to avoid eating hard or chewy foods, chewing gum or ice, and biting on pens or other foreign objects. Our dentist may also make other suggestions as needed to reduce jaw tension and improve your general comfort and wellness. Please bring your night guard to each of your routine cleaning and exam visits at Made Ya Smile in Katy, TX. This will give us the chance to ensure your night guard still fits well and is serving your smile as it should be.
Are Night Guards Covered by Insurance?
Night guard appliances for bruxism may be covered under some dental insurance plans. A member of our administrative team will review your plan specifics and calculate any personal costs. To help you and your family get the bruxism care you need, Made Ya Smile in Katy, TX proudly accepts a range of convenient payment solutions. We are happy to work with your family to help find options that fit within your budget. Information on easy patient-financing through CareCredit® can also be provided to you.
Protect Your Smile Against Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding habits may be common but our team can help your family enjoy comfortable, happy smiles with effective care. Custom night guards for bruxism keep the upper and lower teeth properly aligned while sleeping to prevent damage to your teeth and jaw joints. If you have morning headaches, wake up with a tired jaw, or have chipped or worn teeth, bruxism may be affecting your quality of life. Partner with our dentist at Made Ya Smile in Katy, TX for effective night guard therapy options to bring health and comfort back to your smile. Talk to our caring team to schedule your consultation today.