If you wake up after a night of teeth grinding in your sleep, you are not alone. Night-time teeth grinding (or bruxism) is unfortunately common for many patients and arises from a variety of cause. According to the U.K. based Bruxism Association, nearly 70% of sleep teeth grinding arises from stress or anxiety and other causes include sleep apnea, smoking, excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption, and even medications for sleep, depression, and anxiety.
Even though there is no cure for bruxism, there is treatment available to help provide relief and to protect your pearly whites. Wearing a night guard can help save your teeth from the damaging effects of bruxism over time. If bruxism is allowed to go unchecked, it can eventually cause your teeth to flatten, have tooth sensitivity, pain from grinding to the tooth nerve, gum recession, or even tooth loss.
Over-the-counter mouth guards you buy in the store are typically big, fit poorly and are unattractive. A custom-fitted night guard made by your dentist, however, is designed and fitted exactly for bite. Whether you need a mouth guard that fully protects your teeth, or only need a guard to cover your front teeth, your dentist can create it specifically for your situation.
While custom-made night guards cost more than store-bought varieties, they will help prevent more costly treatment down the road such as bridges, crowns, root canals, dental implants, partial or complete dentures, making them cost-effective. Additionally, dental insurance often covers some or all of this treatment. Our dentists, Dr. Cheryl Cooper, Dr. Theron Nebeker, and Dr. Ken Waddell, are pleased to provide night guards for our patients in Salem, Oregon. So if you would like relief for your night-time teeth grinding, we invite you to call our Smiles Dental team at 503.877.1844 today!