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Are Cracked Teeth on the Rise?

The stress associated with the Coronavirus shutdown has led to an alarming amount people coming to their dentists with migraines, jaw pain, tooth sensitivity and cracked teeth. These problems are primarily caused by patients clenching and grinding their teeth due to the stress of the lockdown.

How Do I Know if I Have Bruxism?

The often-times unconscious act of clenching and grinding your teeth is known as bruxism. It is frequently engaged in while you are sleeping or stressed out. It can also be caused by poor sleep patterns and poor postures. A number of people have experienced all of these issues due to working from home due to the pandemic. While bruxism is a common problem, the majority of people don’t realize they have it until they see a dentist.

Bruxism can be incredibly damaging to your teeth if it is left untreated. The enamel and structure of your teeth can become so worn down that your teeth will become more prone to developing cavities and other issues. If you’ve been experiencing disruptions in your sleep, headaches and pain in your face, jaw and neck, then you may have bruxism.

There are multiple things that can make it more likely that you develop bruxism. They include:

  • Age: Younger children commonly clench and grind their teeth.
  • Personality Type: People with more intense or hyperactive personalities tend to be more likely to develop bruxism.
  • Intense Emotions: Experiencing intense stress, anger or frustration can lead to people clenching and grinding their teeth.
  • Certain Medications and Substances: Drinking caffeine, engaging in alcohol consumption, using tobacco and taking certain psychiatric medications can also increase the chances that you will develop bruxism.
  • Other Health Conditions: There are an array of health conditions that are associated with bruxism. They include Parkinson’s disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, sleep apnea and epilepsy.

Can You Tell Me How I Can Stop Clenching My Teeth During the Day?

If you clench your teeth during the day, it is most likely because you are experiencing intense emotions like anxiety, stress, anger, tension or frustration. There are steps that you can perform in order to make it less likely that you will clench and grind your teeth. They are:

  • Don’t as much drink alcohol or caffeine.
  • Don’t smoke, especially before bed.
  • Engage in relaxing activities before bed and when you’re stressed. These activities can include meditation, going for a walk, taking a hot bath or listening to calming music.

What Can Your Office Do to Help?

Our office can assist you in treating your bruxism by determining whether or not you are a good candidate for a custom night guard. Wearing a custom-fitted appliance when you sleep can aid in protecting your teeth and providing you with pain relief caused by bruxism and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. In order to find out if a night guard can help you, call us to schedule a consultation with one of our friendly dentists.

What Is a Custom Night Guard?

A custom mouth guard is an oral appliance that resembles the trays used for teeth whitening. They are placed in the mouth and worn while you are sleeping. These devices don’t stop you from grinding or clenching your teeth, but they do cushion the teeth and shield them from becoming damaged. Night guards also ensure that space is kept in between your upper and lower teeth.

Why Do Some People Wear a Teeth Protector When Sleeping?

Your dentist may prescribe you with a night guard to prevent damage to your teeth, jaw, crowns or other dental restoration work. He or she may also prescribe this device to assist in preventing morning headaches and the pain associated with TMJ syndrome.

What Do I Need to Know About TMJ Syndrome?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is an issue that impacts the joint connecting the jaw to the skull, as well as the other muscles within the jaw. It is typically caused via bruxism or injury. You may have TMJ if you experience:

  • Pain in your face, jaw, neck, shoulders or ear.
  • Difficulty opening the mouth or chewing
  • Hearing a popping or clicking noise when you open or close your mouth
  • Your jaw seems to get stuck
  • Swelling on the side of your face
  • A sudden uncomfortable bite

Will My Night Guard Help with My TMJ Pain?

In addition to assisting with bruxism, a night guard can also help to relieve you of any pain caused by TMJ syndrome. This is an affordable, non-invasive and convenient type of treatment. It helps your TMJ syndrome by allowing your jaw and teeth to stay properly aligned. It assists in treating headaches, jaw tension, pain and other symptoms associated with TMJ syndrome.

Why Is It Important to Get a Mouth Guard for Bruxism?

Were you aware that bruxism is one of the leading causes of root canals? Grinding your teeth wears down the enamel of your teeth and can significantly destroy the overall structure of the tooth. Leaving bruxism untreated can cause you to have many dental health problems.

Over-the-counter night guards are available online or at your local pharmacy. However, it is worth it to spend the extra money to have a dental professional prescribe you a custom-fitted device. A custom-fitted mouth guard will:

  • Ensure that the jaw remains properly aligned.
  • Fit comfortably and be less likely to fall out throughout the night.
  • Be made out of higher quality materials that will last longer.

What Is the Process for Getting a Custom Mouth Guard?

Getting a custom-fitted mouth guard is a relatively simple process. An impression will be taken of your mouth and a mold created of your teeth. This will allow the lab to create your permanent mouth guard. After your dentist ensures that the night guard fits properly, you will wear it whenever you sleep. Most of our patients get used to the way that the mouth guard feels in their mouth rather quickly.

Are Bruxism Night Guards Expensive?

The overall cost of a custom-fitted night guard depends on the materials utilized in its construction and the specifications needed to ensure that it fits properly. Once your dentist has determined that you need a custom-fitted device, he or she will provide you with an estimate. You can call your dental insurance provider to see how much coverage they offer for mouth guards.

To learn more about how Maple Shade Dental Group can help you with your bruxism or TMJ syndrome, give us a call. We will get you in to see one of our caring dentists as soon as possible.

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