Teeth grinding is known medically as "bruxism". Teeth grinding usually occurs when you are asleep and not conscious. Or, it may happen when your mind is wandering and, all of a sudden, your mouth hurts and you realize that you have been grinding your teeth. Bruxism can range from a mild, annoying habit of grinding your teeth to quite a severe problem that wears down your teeth and causes serious dental issues. Dr. R Scott Langdon, your Mooresville dentist in Mooresville, NC, is experienced at helping patients with this condition.
Grinding of the teeth should be addressed before it begins to cause pain and affects your ability to chew foods comfortably. As soon as you notice bruxism, address it with your dentist to correct the habit before it has the chance of developing into a more serious problem. Without prompt treatment, bruxism may progress and lead to the following:
- Mild to severe wearing down of teeth
- A negatively affected bite
- Recession of the gums
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
- Broken teeth
- Facial pain
- Interrupted sleep
Oral Appliances That Help Bruxism
There are several options to address Bruxism. These options generally entail wearing a night guard in your mouth. There are several different types of oral appliances to choose from to correct teeth grinding. Dr. Langdon, a Mooresville dentist in Mooresville, NC, can explain different options to you and guide you in making the best choice of an oral appliance to address teeth grinding.
Sometimes, a simple nightguard that you can purchase from any pharmacy will do the trick. With these, they are generally boiled so that they become pliable. Then, you fit them into your mouth and it hardens into that shape as it cools. These are called 'boil and bite' nightguards. But there are also guards you can purchase that do not require this step and can be worn out of the box.
For more severe issues, you might consider having your Mooresville Dentist make a custom night guard for you. This will entail making a mold of your teeth and using that to produce a nightguard that will fit better than the one you mold yourself. Alternatively, wearing a dental splint at night, called an occlusal splint, may be recommended. This device helps to relax the muscles in the mouth by repositioning the jaw, thereby protecting your teeth from grinding.
Do not let this annoying habit turn into a more serious issue! It is important to have regular dental checkups so that your dentist can evaluate the integrity of your teeth and gums. If you suspect that you are grinding your teeth during the night, discuss this with Dr. Langdon, your Mooresville dentist in Mooresville, NC. Contact us for an appointment by calling 704-664-1188.