Stress is a common cause of many health related problems. It can wreak havoc on your oral health and overall health. Stress can cause teeth grinding, gum disease, TMJ Disorder to name a few.
What is Bruxism?
Teeth grinding also known as bruxism is caused by clenched jaw muscles. It can occur while awake or sleeping. Many patients are not aware that they are in fact damaging their teeth.
Signs of Grinding or Bruxism
1. Facial or Jaw pain/soreness
2. Worn – down teeth
3. Bed partner notices the grinding sound
6. Cracked teeth or fillings
6. Loose teeth
7. Ear pain/aches
Among all factors related to grinding Stress and Anxiety are two known factors. Grinding teeth can be caused by different factors. Stress and Anxiety are the two most likely causes of bruxism/grinding.
Stress can trigger overuse of the jaw muscle which results in grinding and clenching of the teeth. This can cause a flare up in TMJ which is Temporomandibular Joint and can be painful. TMJ is a joint located where your upper and lower jaw meet. Our office will customize a comfortable mouthguard that will help protect your teeth from damage and help reduce pressure on the TMJ in order for it to heal.
Your Teeth are Unique, your mouthguard should be too.
Below are pictures of a custom mouthguard from Stubblefield Dental clinic.
An effective mouthguard should be:
comfortable, snug fitting, resist tears, durable, easy to clean, protect your teeth, and should never restrict breathing.
Custom Made Mouthguard:
These are made in our office with a personalized fit, they are comfortable and provide protection for all your teeth. We can adjust the thickness of your mouthguard to provide maximum protection. Snug fit prevents the mouthguard from moving around during activity or sleeping during the night.
When you think about mouthguards, do not just think about protection while playing football and boxing. A mouthguard can protect your teeth in just about any sport or exercise.
Do over the counter mouthguards work as well as a custom mouthguard?
OTC Mouthguard Stock- you can purchase at a sporting store, and they come ready to wear right out of the package.
OTC Boil and Bite Mouthguard – You first put the mouthguard in hot water, then bite down and allow it to form to the shape of your mouth.
We have put it to the test:
We created a custom mouthguard in our office and bought an over the counter mouthguard for the same patient. The difference was unbelievable.
How to Care for Mouthguards
Keeping mouthguard clean is very important.
Store mouthguard in a firm container.
Never store mouthguard in a hot car and from high temperatures.
Never put mouthguard in hot water, hot surfaces, or direct sunlight — to minimize distorting its shape.
Check mouthguard occasionally for general wear.
Bring mouthguard to regular cleaning appointments to have dentist examine it.