Have you been experiencing pain or discomfort in your jaw bone joint or head? If you are experiencing irritation in that area of your mouth, you might want to make an appointment. You may be damaging your teeth and jaw joint by clenching and grinding.
The Impact of Clenching and Grinding
Clenching or grinding teeth is a fairly common occurrence. Many people do so without even realizing it. It is only after they experience some of the side effects that they begin to wonder if they are clenching or grinding.
Some of the common side effects include:
- Loose teeth.
- Wearing down of teeth.
- Stiffness and pain in the jaw joint.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Pain in the ears.
- Broken teeth or broken fillings.
For many patients, it is a patient’s partner or family members that will notice the problem before they do. Waking up with any of the symptoms listed above could indicate some sort of nighttime grinding or clenching.
The joint for your jaw bone is called the TMJ, short for the temporomandibular joint. This joint is what connects your lower jaw bone to your skull. It is a joint that you use constantly throughout the day as you eat and speak.
Clenching and grinding can strain this joint, leading to debilitating symptoms: facial pain, locking of the joint, headaches, muscle spasms, and pain or popping noises when chewing. Treatment for clenching and grinding may help alleviate these symptoms.
Treatment for Clenching and Grinding
There are several solutions that exist to ease pain and lessen the severity of the symptoms. We use a dental appliance known as Essix to relieve the clenching or an acrylic night guard for grinding.
Essix Appliance for Clenching
Clenching your teeth can cause them to shift around in your mouth. If you have had braces or a smile that has been adjusted through Invisalign® treatment, clenching your teeth can waste all the hard work and money you spent to straighten your smile.
With an Essix appliance, you can protect your teeth from damage and unwanted movement. The Essix appliance works essentially like a retainer; it keeps your teeth in position and protects them from shifting when you clench. Your Essix appliance will be custom-fitted to your teeth, just like a night guard.
Acrylic Night Guard for Grinding
If grinding is your problem, we will outfit you with a custom-made acrylic night guard to help protect and preserve your teeth. Grinding can be very wearing and damaging to teeth, so taking steps to protect them is always a good idea.
The night guard will work to protect your teeth. It may take some getting used to, but the overall benefits will be worth it. A night guard is a preventative step you can take to preserve your teeth and avoid restorative dental procedures in the future.