What Is Bruxism?
Headaches and a tired jaw in the morning after you wake up may be a sign that you are clenching or grinding your teeth during sleep. Bruxism (habitual teeth grinding or clenching) affects many patients and is a common problem that can cause TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, worn teeth, gum recession, and other issues with the jaw and teeth. Anxiety, stress, uneven biting surfaces, or other factors are all underlying causes of bruxism. At Made Ya Smile Spring Cypress our experienced team helps Houston, TX patients manage the effects of bruxism using custom night guard therapy and other personalized solutions. Appliances made of acrylic or similar materials, night guards are worn over biting surfaces of the teeth during sleep to stop your teeth from rubbing against each other and effectively protect your oral structures.
Receiving early treatment for teeth grinding and clenching can enhance your oral comfort and reduce damage that can occur over time to the teeth, gums, and jaw joints. Flattened or worn biting edges, broken or chipped teeth and restorations, and a receding gumline are all signs you may have a bruxism condition. Habitual teeth grinding can also cause frequent headaches, popping of the jaw, and difficulty opening or closing the mouth. These signs can disrupt your quality of life, so it is important to be thoroughly evaluated by a dentist to mitigate the effects of bruxism. Please call our family dental practice today to schedule a visit with our skilled dentist to find out if bruxism is affecting your smile.
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What Are the Symptoms of Bruxism?
Many lifestyle, environmental, and medical factors can lead to the habit of grinding or clenching teeth, but the exact cause of bruxism is unknown. Patients of all ages may engage in teeth clenching and grinding during sleep. This habit can also be triggered by other things like parafunctional habits such as gum chewing and nail-biting, sleep disorders, bite misalignment, genetics, and stress. TMJ disorders, broken or chipped teeth or restorations, uneven biting surfaces, gum recession, and jaw pain, chronic headaches, or neck and shoulder pain can all result from bruxism. To help you discover if teeth grinding is damaging your health and well-being, our dentist provides TMJ evaluation and bruxism assessments at our Houston, TX practice. The Made Ya Smile Spring Cypress team can also help you pinpoint any factors that might be triggering your teeth grinding or clenching habit.
A custom dental appliance for teeth grinding or other bruxism treatment may help you if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms:
• Pain or difficulty opening your mouth
• Jaw or tooth pain/tension
• Discomfort while chewing
• Abnormal oral sensitivity
• Chronic headaches
• Weak or worn out restorations
How Is Bruxism Treated?
When you arrive at our office for your bruxism consultation, our team will examine your jaw joints and teeth and talk to you about anything that may be causing you to grind or clench your teeth. A custom-fit night guard is recommended for many patients who need support to protect the teeth and jaw joints from the long-term problems and damage bruxism causes. We may also talk with you about other treatments like bite adjustments or orthodontic care, if they may be better choices for your particular case.
Custom-crafted to fit comfortably over the upper or lower arch, night guards are worn while you sleep to keep your teeth apart, hold your jaw in a comfortable position, and prevent grinding. To make your custom appliance, our team will create molds of your upper and lower arches, which will be sent to our partner lab. High-quality and durable acrylic or other material is used to construct your unique night guard. Once it is complete, you will return to try on your appliance, and at that appointment, we will show you how to wear and remove it, as well as give you instructions for long term storage and care. We may also adjust your night guard as needed to make sure you have the best fit and most effective experience possible with your appliance.
How Can I Care for My Bruxism Mouth Guard?
Wearing your custom night guard as recommended can help minimize damage to your teeth and jaw and generally improve your comfort. Though your symptoms may subside, you should continue to wear your appliance at night to ensure that your upper and lower jaws remain in proper alignment and to properly protect your joints, teeth, and gums. Palliative home care along with night guard use may also be recommended, which may include cold compresses or moist heat, anti-inflammatory medications, and specific stretches and exercises for facial and neck muscles. To keep you from overworking your jaw, we may recommend that you avoid crunching ice, chewing gum, and eating hard foods like nuts and chewy bagels, and may supplement your care with other recommendations to relax your muscles and reduce tension in your mouth.
Routine cleanings and exams at Made Ya Smile Spring Cypress are an important part of keeping your smile radiant and healthy. We recommend that you bring your night guard along with you to your visits to let us clean it and check the fit or make needed adjustments to your appliance for comfort.
Are Night Guards Covered by Insurance?
Night guard appliances are sometimes covered in part by dental insurance plans. We will check on your specific coverage amounts and advise you of any out-of-pocket expenses. Made Ya Smile Spring Cypress wants to help you maximize your benefits and can help you in choose other payment options if you are not relying on insurance for your treatment. Several convenient payment methods and in-house and third-party financing options are available to help you get the care you need for bruxism.
Protect Your Smile Against Teeth Grinding
Stop bruxism from causing problems with your oral health, comfort, and general well-being. By leaving teeth grinding and clenching habits untreated, you can develop TMJ problems, cause damage to teeth and fillings, suffer from headaches, and face a wide range of other problems. Our dentist is skilled at providing treatment for bruxism and can help you decide if a custom night guard is the right choice to return you to optimal health. Call Made Ya Smile in Houston, TX today to find out about personalized bruxism treatment from our skilled and friendly team.