No matter how carefully you take care of your oral health during the day, you could still damage them at night or in other scenarios without being aware. Many people bite their jaws and grind their teeth while they sleep or are under stress, which is known as bruxism.
If you ignore such behaviors, they could wear down your mouth over time and result in permanent damage. A dentist in Leesburg, VA, will help you determine if you experience bruxism, inform you of its causes, and provide potential short- and long-term therapy options.
Bruxism: Are you causing damage to your teeth while you sleep?
Stress and anxiety are the most common causes of jaw clenching and teeth grinding. This may occur when you are awake or while you are falling asleep. Though fully awake, you might not even know what you are doing.
Even when our thoughts are unaware, stress may physically materialize in our bodies in many ways, including bruxism. When under pressure, pay attention to how your mouth behaves. Are you grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw? You probably are if you fall into one of the 8% of Americans with bruxism.
Furthermore, if you sleep in a bed with someone, they might be able to tell if you grind your teeth at sleep. Even if the noise does not wake you, it can be loud enough for the other person to hear it. Substance misuse (drugs, caffeine, alcohol), sleep apnea, and problems with the bite and alignment are further risk factors for bruxism.
Diagnosis and treatment of bruxism
Mentioning your symptoms to the dental professional during your next appointment is the best way to determine whether you have bruxism. If you have been clenching or grinding your teeth without realizing it, your dentist can check the wear pattern on your teeth and inspect your jaw.
Your dentist will then prescribe a mouth guard, preventing your teeth from rubbing against each other when you sleep. Soon enough, better sleep will make you wake up without discomfort and feel more rested.
It could take some time to adjust to, but it is vital that you continue and keep wearing the mouth guard. Over time, your mouth will get healthier, and you will eventually wonder how you slept without one.
This method will prevent the bruxism symptoms, but it fails to tackle the underlying problems that trigger it in the first place.