Bruxism, or grinding your teeth in your sleep, is a relatively common occurrence, nearly 70% brought on by stress or anxiety, according to the Bruxism Association, which is based in the U.K. Other contributing factors for teeth grinding in your sleep include sleep apnea, smoking, caffeine or alcohol consumption, or taking medications for sleep, depression, and anxiety.
While there is no actual “cure” for bruxism, you can still protect your teeth and jaw from the destructive effects of teeth grinding by wearing a night guard while you sleep. Over time, bruxism can cause your teeth to flatten, fracture, or loosen, increase tooth sensitivity, experience pain from grinding to the nerve, experience gum recession, and even tooth loss. This chronic teeth grinding can also cause or worsen TMD (temporomandibular disorder) or TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain, and change the appearance of your face. Left untreated, the tooth damage can lead to a need for bridges, crowns, root canals, dental implants, or partial or complete dentures.
You can find over-the-counter mouth guards in stores, but they 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 covering all of your teeth, or a partial to cover your front teeth. Although custom-made night guards cost more than store-bought night guards, they are still less costly than repairing the damage done by teeth grinding over time. In addition, dental insurances often cover some or all of the cost of custom night guards.
At Lehmkuhler Dental, our skilled dentist, Dr. Ryan P. Lehmkuhler and his team are pleased to provide night guards for our patients in Dodge City, Kansas, and the surrounding areas. Are you ready to be free of night-time teeth grinding? If so, we invite you to call our dedicated team at 620-225-5154 today!