If you need a mouth guard, you may not even know it. These devices are the most effective way to treat bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding and jaw clenching. A mouth guard will fit over your teeth, preventing them from touching. In most cases, you will only need to wear your guard at night. By treating bruxism, our dentists can also prevent long-term dental damage, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, and oral-systemic problems. At DeJesus Dental Group in Bridgeport, we provide a full range of general dentistry services. When you come in for a consultation, we will examine your smile and discuss your symptoms to ensure that a custom-made mouth guard is the right option for you.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism causes you to grind your teeth and tighten your jaw, usually unconsciously. In fact, in most cases, you will do so at night, so you will only know that you have the condition when you begin to manifest the symptoms. Bruxism is often the result of stress. Bruxism can also result from dental misalignment or missing teeth. It is natural for your top and bottom teeth to align. Each tooth should touch the corresponding tooth on the opposite dental arch. If you have malocclusion or gaps in your smile, you may be grinding your jaw as you try to realign your teeth.
Do You Suffer from Bruxism?
Whatever the cause of your bruxism, the condition can result in several telltale symptoms. The signs of this condition include:
- Worn or flattened teeth
- Small chips or cracks in your teeth
- Loosened teeth
- Dental sensitivity
- Jaw pain and/or stiffness
- Ear pain
- Chronic headaches
- Sores on your tongue or the insides of your cheeks
The Importance of a Dental Mouth Guard
If your dentist determines that you suffer from bruxism, he will typically recommend a mouthguard. This comfortable device will be crafted from impressions of your teeth. You will wear it while you are asleep, and it will fit comfortably around your teeth. The smooth plastic will prevent your teeth from touching so that you are no longer able to tense and grind your jaw.
A dental mouth guard will not only alleviate your immediate symptoms. It will also protect your continuing dental health. The device will reduce your risk for dental erosion and structural damage. It can also prevent you from developing TMJ disorder. This condition occurs when the jaw joints are damaged, or when the nearby tissues become inflamed. Chronic jaw clinching puts tremendous pressure on those joints. Therefore, bruxism is one of the most common causes of TMJ disorder. A mouth guard can prevent this condition and its resulting symptoms. These side effects of TMD can include jaw pain, the inability to open or close your jaw, tinnitus, neck and shoulder pain, and more. Thus, a simple, comfortable mouthguard can have untold benefits for your overall dental and physical wellness.
Learn More about General Dentistry at Our Practice
If you are suffering from the symptoms of bruxism, seek immediate treatment to ease your discomfort and protect your smile. Schedule an appointment today.