When To Suspect You Grind Your Teeth At Night And Treatment Your Dentist May Recommend
Bruxism is when you grind your teeth. You may do it so much that it becomes natural and you may not even realize you're doing it. This is especially true at night when you're sleeping and grinding your teeth. Bruxism isn't always a serious matter. For instance, it's fairly common in kids who usually outgrow it without problems.
However, the grinding might eventually damage your teeth. That's why you should get a dental checkup if you think you have this condition. Here are signs you might have bruxism and what your dentist can do to help.
Signs You Might Have Bruxism
The first indication of grinding your teeth might be when your sleeping partner complains of the noise you make in bed at night. The grinding can often be loud enough to disturb your partner. You may find it hard to believe you're grinding your teeth and don't know it, but it's a good idea to get a dental checkup to see if your teeth have been damaged.
You might have frequent earaches or headaches that are caused by tooth grinding. Your teeth might wear away, chip, or crack. These signs don't always occur, but when they do, you'll want to let your dentist know.
A Dental Checkup Can Confirm Bruxism
One reason it's important to keep your dental checkups is that your dentist will examine your teeth and see signs of bruxism before you're aware of the problem. That allows you to get treatment before damage has been done to your teeth and before you start having pain.
Treatment Includes Wearing A Mouth Guard
Probably the best option for a mouthguard is to let your dentist make a custom guard that fits your mouth perfectly so it is comfortable to wear. Even so, the guard may feel odd until you're used to wearing it. A guard made by your dentist costs more than one you buy at a drugstore, but it's made to the right shape and thickness. Your dental insurance might help pay for the guard to offset some of the cost.
Your dentist may also recommend you let your doctor know about your bruxism because teeth grinding is linked to other conditions. You might have additional sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. You might have anxiety or stress. Bruxism is sometimes a side effect of medications too.
Your doctor can provide medical treatments for the cause of your bruxism that may help you reduce the number of teeth grinding you do. However, you'll still want to wear your mouthguard until your dentist says it's okay to stop.
Plus, you'll need regular dental visits to monitor the progress of tooth damage if any. If your teeth develop cracks or other problems due to grinding your teeth, you'll need to have dental work to repair the problems so they don't lead to tooth decay and toothaches.
Speak to a dentist to learn more.