Grinding away at night: Dangers of grinding teeth

Posted on: October 5, 2016

Grinding away at night Dangers of grinding teeth

People all have quirks or things they do without realizing it at first. Some people may chew on the end of a pen, others may bite a fingernail, some may tap their feet to no beat in particular and others fidget with a pencil. These quirks are not entirely bad or harmful but are something people almost do subconsciously. Grinding one’s teeth is another habit that people may do, unaware of the dangers grinding one’s teeth can cause.

Teeth grinding at night

While some teeth grinding during the day from time to time is normal and not much of a concern. Those who consistently grind their teeth subconsciously at night need to consider seeking treatment. The Mayo Clinic states that, “Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth,” and that “If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench your teeth together during the day, or clench or grind them at night.”

While it may not be noticeable at first, the symptoms will build up over time. The Mayo Clinic lists some of the symptoms to include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching that wakes up your sleep partner
  • Teeth that become flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • Pain in the jaw, face or ear
  • Dull headache originating in the temples
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of the cheek
  • Indentations on the tongue
  • Increased tooth sensitivity

Fortunately, it is not too difficult to identify the symptoms of bruxism, since a person who grinds his or her teeth at night will feel pain each morning. Treatment options can depend on the patient and the stage of bruxism the patient experiences. One option that does not require medication and is an effective treatment is known as a night guard.

Night guard place holder

The causes of grinding one's teeth during sleep vary on the individual. Treatment of grinding one's teeth is not too difficult if one selects the right treatment. The Mayo Clinic lists a few causes of teeth grinding to be:

  • Emotions, such as anxiety, stress, anger, frustration or tension
  • Aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personality type
  • Abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth (malocclusion)
  • Other sleep problems, such as sleep apnea
  • Response to pain from an earache or teething (in children)
  • Stomach acid reflux into the esophagus

An effective method to combat the grinding of one’s teeth is by investing in a night guard. The American Dental Association, ADA states that a night guard is “Custom-made by the dentist from soft material to fit your teeth.”

Patients who need to wear a night guard will not have to deal with excessive pain, hassle or being uncomfortable at night. The night guard, “slips over the teeth in one jaw and prevents contact with the opposing teeth.” A custom-made night guard will fit much better than a store-bought night guard.

By wearing a custom-made night guard, the patient will not have to worry about the night guard causing more pain or scratching against the gums. Teeth grinding can make the day more difficult with pain, while a faulty night guard can make it difficult to sleep comfortably. By visiting a dentist and receiving a custom-made night guard, the patient can ensure quality and a healthy sleep cycle.

If you grind your teeth subconsciously at night, call us and schedule a consultation. We will find the treatment that works best and help you or your loved one begin a path to a better life.

Casa Dental of Santa Ana

At Casa Dental of Santa Ana, in Santa Ana, CA, we will customize your treatment to match your needs and schedule. Our professional staff creates a calm atmosphere for you during the appointment and treatment process. If you have any questions or are unsure of what is causing the pain in your teeth, do not hesitate to call us.

We will answer any questions and make sure you get all of the necessary information. We can help prevent damage to your teeth and set you on track for a lifetime of pristine oral health. At Casa Dental of Santa Ana, your experience with us and your dental health are our prime concern.

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