Headaches, jaw pain and damage to your teeth can all be caused by grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw while you sleep. Dentists term this condition bruxism, and it is much more common than you’d think.
Most patients who brux are completely unaware that they are doing it. Often, it is the spouse of the bruxer who becomes aware of it first, as he or she is disturbed by the grinding or chomping of teeth in the night.
In addition to causing pain and discomfort, bruxism will grind down your teeth or dental work, causing damage well beyond normal wear and tear.
Dr. Morgan has successfully assisted numerous patients in the treatment of bruxism with a simple nightguard.
A nightguard or “occlusal guard” is shaped by Dr. Morgan so that it fits most comfortably. It is placed on one jaw – generally the bottom — and it acts as a protective layer between the two sets of teeth.
Nightguards look similar to mouthguards, but are much less bulky and act only as protection for grinding.
It is a good idea to use a nightguard to avoid major, permanent damage to one’s teeth that is often associated with bruxism.
Beyond the head or jaw pain often caused by bruxism, damage may be caused to the teeth by the constant grinding: cracks, fissures, chipping, weakening and removal of protective tooth enamel that can lead to increased sensitivity to cold and heat.