Treating Bruxism with Mouth Guards
Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding. Teeth grinding is a common condition that can cause permanent damage to the teeth if the condition persists. At their Manhattan cosmetic dentistry practice, Astoria Dental Group, Dr. Clifford Degel and Dr. Carmen Every-Degel aim to treat teeth grinding before the teeth suffer from extensive damage. The most common treatment for our Manhattan patients is mouth guards that can be worn at night to align the teeth and prevent teeth grinding.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can be a result of a number of causes. Some of the most common causes of bruxism include:
- An inability to unwind
- Poor sleeping habits
- Misaligned teeth
All of these factors not only cause clenching or teeth grinding, but can also affect the severity of the condition.
Often times, a patient is not aware that they are suffering from bruxism. Patients often grind their teeth or clench their jaws at night, so they do not suspect they are grinding their teeth until they begin to experience some of the following symptoms:
- Sore jaw muscle
- Tooth sensitivity
If you are experiencing these symptoms, Dr. Degel can examine your teeth to look for signs of teeth grinding.
If signs of teeth grinding or clenching are present, Dr. Degel will likely recommend a mouth guard to treat bruxism. A mouth guard should be worn at night to prevent teeth clenching or grinding. A mouth guard is beneficial in two ways. First, a mouth guard ensures that the teeth are properly aligned. Misalignment is one of the causes of bruxism, so aligning the teeth properly puts them in a position that makes them less likely to grind against each other. Second, a mouth guard literally guards your teeth so that they cannot wear down while you sleep. The mouth guard creates a protective barrier between the upper and lower jaw.
There are options available for acquiring a mouth guard. While a pre-formed or moldable mouth guard can be bought at a sporting goods store, we suggest that our patients have a custom mouth guard fabricated through our dental office. A custom mouth guard is made using a mold that Dr. Degel takes of your teeth so that the mouth guard is comfortable and secure. This makes it easier for the patient to sleep comfortably with the mouth guard in place.
A second, and equally important, step in treating bruxism is repairing any damage that has been caused by teeth grinding. For our patients in Manhattan and Queens, restorative dentistry treatments will be determined based on the extent of damage that has been caused. A dental crown is a common treatment option for a tooth that has been worn down by habitual clenching or grinding.
Schedule an Appointment
If you suffer from symptoms that lead you to believe you may be grinding your teeth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Clifford Degel or Dr. Carmen Every-Degel. Dr. Degel can look for signs of bruxism and provide you with a custom mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding.