Most people aren’t aware that they are clenching or grinding their teeth. But our bodies often react to everyday pressures in surprising ways. Dentists and dental hygienists are often the first to notice the signs of teeth grinding, which include chipped or cracked teeth or worn, damaged spots along the edges of teeth. While most people grind their teeth while they’re sleeping, often without knowing it — a habit that dentists call bruxism, many also clench or grind during the day, especially when they’re feeling tense, worried or pressured.

If you are grinding your teeth, you might notice:

  • Pain or tenderness in your jaw
  • Dull headaches
  • Plugged, painful or itchy ears.
  • Neck pain

Though Bruxism is usually thought of as a symptom of stress, it can also be caused by:

  • Sleep related breathing disorders
  • Teeth that don’t line up properly
  • Missing or crooked teeth
  • Alcohol or tobacco use

Taking steps to protect your teeth:
If you grind your teeth, it’s important to safeguard them from the damage this habit can do. We may recommend a night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep. A custom guard will give you the closest, most comfortable fit. Night guards are also sold online and in stores but may not provide the same protection as a guard made just for you. Paired with a night guard, healthy stress management will help protect your teeth and mouth from the damage that clenching or grinding can do.

Because teeth grinding can have other causes, you may need additional help in finding the root cause. For example, if there are signs you are struggling to get enough rest at night, a sleep study may be recommended which can measure your breathing while you sleep and how your body responds to sleep problems.

Teeth grinding in children:
Children often grind their teeth. However, because their teeth and jaws are growing so quickly, this habit does not always cause serious damage. Many children outgrow it by adolescence.
With kids, teeth grinding isn’t usually the result of stress. It might be caused by:

  • Irritation inside the mouth
  • Allergies, especially those that make it hard to breathe
  • Teeth that don’t line up properly

Sport Guards:

Knowing how to prevent injuries to your mouth and face is especially important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities.

Sports guards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face, or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips, and cheek lining.

When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age.

While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, any athlete may experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.

Nightguards and sports guards should be replaced as soon as they show signs of wear, damage or improper fit. Talk to us about making a custom-made appliance for you!!!