Night-time teeth grinding, called bruxism, arises from several factors, although the U.K. based Bruxism Association determined that nearly 70% of sleep teeth grinding stems from stress or anxiety. Other common factors include sleep apnea, smoking, caffeine or alcohol consumption, or taking medications for sleep, depression, and anxiety.
Even though there is no actual “cure” for bruxism, there is treatment available to help protect your teeth. Wearing a night guard can help save your pearly whites from the destructive effects of bruxism, which can cause your teeth to flatten, fracture, loosen, increase tooth sensitivity, hurt from grinding to the nerve, cause gum recession, and even tooth loss. Left untreated, this constant wear and tear on your teeth can lead to a need for bridges, crowns, root canals, dental implants, partial or complete dentures (depending on the severity), or TMD (temporomandibular disorder), TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain, or change the appearance of your face.
Over-the-counter mouth guards available in stores tend to be large, fit poorly and are unattractive (which matters if you don’t sleep alone). A custom-made night guard created by your dentist, however, is fitted perfectly for your bite, whether it is a full mouth guard that protects all of your teeth, or just to cover your front teeth. While custom-made night guards cost more than store-bought guards, they are still less costly than repairing the damage done by teeth grinding over time. Also, dental insurances often cover some or all of the cost of custom night guards.
Our dentists, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Cowley, Dr. Riche, Dr. Wilson, and Dr. Anandarajah, are pleased to provide night guards for our patients in Gallup, New Mexico and the surrounding areas. So if you are ready to find relief for your night-time teeth grinding, we invite you to call our Ortho*Dental, Inc. team at 505-863-8100 today!