Maybe you’ve heard your partner do it in his or her sleep. Maybe you wake yourself up doing it sometimes. Maybe your kids do it when they’re napping. Maybe your head and jaw just hurt and you can’t figure out what’s going on! Bruxism, or grinding the teeth while you sleep, affects roughly 8 percent of adults in the U.S. and is associated with facial pain, decreased sleep quality, and moderate to severe dental damage.
If you or someone you know is affected by the condition, you may need a mouth guard to prevent dental damage. Here are some of the top signs to look for:
1. Your Head Hurts When you Wake up
If you’re waking up with headaches on a regular basis, you might be grinding your teeth at night. While a mouth guard won’t stop you from grinding your teeth entirely, it can help mitigate the symptoms and ensure that your headaches don’t persist.
You may also want to try relaxation exercises, which will make you less likely to tense up and grind your teeth at night.
2. You’re on Antidepressants
If you take antidepressants, you’re at an increased risk of teeth grinding. According to a 2012 study, paroxetine, which is a common ingredient in many antidepressants, can cause you to grind your teeth as you sleep.
Even if you haven’t noticed signs or symptoms of teeth grinding, ask your doctor about getting fitted for a mouth guard. Not only will this protect your teeth, but it will help you wake up comfortable and happy each morning.
3. You can See Visible Signs of Wear
Teeth are durable objects, but they can’t withstand extended pressure forever. Over time, teeth grinding leads to chips, worn down chewing surfaces and exposed roots. If you notice any of these signs of wear or are experiencing new dental pain, talk to your doctor about a mouth guard.
Getting a Nighttime Mouth Guard
While Bruxism is an uncomfortable condition, it can be treated. The easiest way is to get fitted for a nighttime mouth guard. Designed to fit the teeth snugly and provide a durable surface to protect teeth from the pressure of grinding, nighttime mouth guards vary in hardness and material, and can be custom-fit by your doctor.
To learn more about mouthguards and whether you should get fitted for one, contact the team here at Sand Springs Family Dentistry today!