If you unconsciously grind, gnash, or clench your teeth, you might have a condition called bruxism. While it may not seem serious, bruxism can trigger a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Flattened or damaged teeth
- Enamel loss
- Increased tooth sensitivity and sore gums
- Soft tissue damage to the inside of your cheek
- Pain or tenderness in your neck, jaw, or face
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Tension or migraine headaches
- Sleep disruption for you or your partner
Fortunately, you can protect your teeth and relieve these symptoms by wearing a custom-made night guard while you sleep. At her state-of-the-art dental practice in Orinda, California, Virginia H. Ellis, DDS offers the most advanced dental techniques to manage various conditions, such as bruxism, and to protect your oral health.
What causes teeth grinding
The exact cause of bruxism isn’t known, but it’s typically due to a combination of genetic, physical, and psychological components. Certain factors can increase your risk of teeth grinding, including:
- Poor alignment between your upper and lower teeth
- Emotions, such as stress, anxiety, anger, and frustration
- Some medications, such as antidepressants
- Caffeinated or alcoholic beverages
- Medical disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, and sleep apnea
Teeth grinding is also especially common in young children, but it often disappears by the time they reach adulthood.
Because teeth grinding is involuntary, Dr. Ellis often recommends wearing a custom-made night guard to help protect yourself while you sleep.
Night guards for teeth grinding
A night guard covers your teeth. Also known as mouth guards, there are several types of these devices with various functions. For example, some are designed for athletes, and others are designed to help reduce snoring or sleep apnea symptoms.
If you have bruxism, Dr. Ellis uses custom-made night guards to keep your top and bottom teeth separated while you sleep. These guards cover either your upper or lower teeth to prevent them from coming in contact with each other, which will eliminate the risk of dental damage.
Wearing a night guard can also:
- Help prevent temporomandibular joint disorders
- Help relieve pain and tension in your teeth, joints, and muscles
- Help reduce headache issues
- Help improve sleep quality
To make your night guard, Dr. Ellis will take dental impressions. This will ensure a proper fit and help ensure it won’t move out of position while you sleep.
If you grind your teeth while sleeping, don’t wait any longer to get a custom night guard. Call Virginia H. Ellis, DDS or schedule an appointment online or over the phone today.