Teeth grinding and clenching can be a painful, destructive habit. It is a tough habit to break, particularly because many people grind and clench their teeth while they sleep, unconsciously.
Teeth clenching and grinding puts a considerable amount of force on your teeth (up to 200 pounds) and causes stress not only on your teeth, but also on the joints and muscles supporting the jaw.
The destruction caused by clenching and grinding can lead to cracked teeth, cracked fillings, or cracked crowns and pain in the muscles or joints. Clenching and grinding can also cause upper back or neck pain in some situations. It can even disrupt your significant other’s sleep if your clenching and grinding is loud enough!
The first step is scheduling a consultation with Red Rock Family Dentistry by calling (405) 733-8136.
A night guard (also known as a splint or bite guard) is a commonly recommended first line of treatment for clenching and grinding or TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder).
Night guards are typically worn while you sleep and serve as a barrier in between your top and bottom teeth. This allows the muscles and joints to relax and prevent you from the destructive forces of grinding.
Night guards are also worn to protect dental work that has been completed. Just as natural teeth can break under the forces of clenching or grinding, so can fillings and crowns. Night guards are a great way to protect the investment you have made in your teeth.
First, we will examine your teeth and mouth to determine the best type of night guard for your particular situation. Then, we will take an impression of your teeth so that a dental technician can make a custom night guard that perfectly forms to your teeth.
When we receive the night guard back from the lab, we will set up an appointment for you to come in so we can try the night guard in your mouth. During this appointment, we will make sure the night guard fits appropriately and review instructions for taking care of your night guard as well as instructions for how to wear it.
We also ask our patients to bring their night guard with them to their cleaning appointments for a complimentary night guard cleaning!
Unfortunately, if severe clenching and grinding continues unchecked, it can have devastating results. The teeth may begin to look worn or chipped on the edges, and can even look shorter from top to bottom.
Oftentimes, once the clenching and grinding has taken a severe toll on the teeth, the only way to restore your teeth to their original shape and form is extensive and costly dental treatment. At Red Rock Family Dentistry, we fully believe that the best solution is to prevent your teeth from wear and to avoid extensive dental treatment.
Schedule an appointment at Red Rock Family Dentistry today by calling us at (405) 733-8136.