Protect your Teeth
Teeth Grinding or Clenching
Occasional teeth grinding or clenching (know as bruxism) does not cause harm. However patients that grind or clench their teeth on a regular basis can cause damage to their teeth and might notice chipped teeth, increased sensitivity due to diminished enamel, fractured teeth, broken fillings or cracked dental work, jaw tenderness, muscle tenderness or pain in the face, TMD/TMJ discomfort, headaches beginning at your temples. In severe cases, your teeth can be worn down to stumps and even change the appearance of your face.
The causes of grinding or clenching are typically multi-factorial, which means there are many reasons why someone might do this. Some of the more common reasons are:
Sleep issues, including sleep apnea and airway obstruction
Stress or negative emotions
Lifestyle choices such as tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol use, (especially late at night)
Certain medications such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, ADHD meds, etc.
Putting an end to teeth grinding can preserve your teeth, keep you smiling with confidence, minimize dentistry down the road and keeps you healthier.
Orthodontics and placing the teeth in a better position might be a way in some cases to minimize grinding and clenching. One way to find out is to speak with your San Antonio dentist here at Dominion Dental Spa and find out if this might be a solution for you.
Wear a Bite Guard
A Bite guard, also known as mouthguard, night guard, splint, occlusal guard, bite appliance-fits over your teeth and helps protect the teeth from the damage of grinding. It is better to wear through a guard that typically lasts a few years than your natural teeth. A custom-made guard begins by making quick and easy impressions or digital scans of your teeth that are used as a model to make the guard. The lab fabricated dental guard will be clear and thermoplastic (with a hard outer layer to protect your teeth and a soft cushioning layer for comfort). Please note that all occlusal guards are not created equally. Our San Antonio night guard dentist can provide you with a guard that is thin enough to be comfortable, yet strong enough allow you to grind on it. We take care to make sure it fits just right for you. If left untreated, grinding can permanently damage your teeth, and lead to more dental work or tooth loss, so why wait?
If you play contact sports or have a child /teenager that does, we make comfortable sports guards that help protect the teeth. A sports guard and a bite guard are NOT the same thing. They are both oral appliances but they differ in how they protect the teeth. The American Dental Association recommends a mouthguard for a variety of sports and recreation.