People who routinely have headaches, earaches, or jaw pain, especially upon waking, may suffer from bruxism or TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). Both of these problems can cause discomfort as well as tooth and jaw damage.
To find out if you would benefit from wearing a night guard, learn more about bruxism and TMD below and be sure to talk to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist.
As your Century City cosmetic dentist, can tell you bruxism is an involuntary grinding and clenching of the teeth. It primarily occurs while sleeping. The danger is that repetitive clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth can cause teeth to crack and erode. This weakens your teeth and leads to a higher incident of tooth decay. Eventually you could end up with chipped, broken, and/or sensitive teeth.
Since most people are not aware they are clenching and grinding their teeth, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what percent of the population has bruxism. However, The Bruxism Association suggests that upwards of 10 percent of the population experience bruxism. Additionally, it is more likely to occur in 25 to 44 year olds.
Your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist warns that much of the time stress can cause us to tense our jaw and grind our teeth. Those with demanding jobs or those facing difficult life challenges and frustrations, therefore, are most susceptible. Alcohol, recreational drugs, smoking, caffeine, and prescription medication use can often lead to an increase in bruxism.
Finally, keep in mind that even though enamel – the toughest substance in your body – coats your teeth, clenching and grinding can wear it down. This weakens your teeth and can lead to increased chances of tooth decay.
Often referred to as TMJ (temporomandibular joint), temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD is the result of problems with your jaw, jaw joint, and the surrounding facial muscles.
Normally, the TMJ is flexible and allows your jaw to move up and down or side to side smoothly. While injury to the jaw or parts of the joint may be the reason for TMD, your Century City cosmetic dentist suggests that sometimes it may be the prolonged result of untreated bruxism.
Those who suffer from TMD may have it for years or it can be just a temporary discomfort. According to statistics from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more women than men experience TMD and it most commonly occurs in those between the ages of 20 and 40.
One of the best ways to help eliminate the pain and discomfort associated with bruxism and TMD is by using a quality night guard. Not the kind that you buy over the counter, but one that is custom-fitted to your mouth. For more information and assistance determining if a nigh guard is right for you, talk to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist today.