Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt pressure or soreness in your jaw? Have you ever woken up clenching your teeth? If so, you could be grinding your teeth at nights. Most patients who grind their teeth are not aware of it until they feel soreness or see wear patterns on their teeth. Most of the grinding happens unconsciously which is why patients are not aware of the problem.
Although most of the unconscious clenching occurs at night, you can also be clenching your teeth during the day. About 70% of people clench their teeth because of stress or anxiety. If you are stressed about a certain situation or are trying to focus on a certain task, you might be clenching your teeth. Also, if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned below, you may be a grinder and may have to visit a Los Angeles cosmetic dentistry. The symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Soreness of the jaw (TMJ pain)
- Ear pain
- Stiffness of the shoulders and neck
- Sleep disorders
A cosmetic dentist that deals with temporomandibular joint pain can check your symptoms and help you treat your problems with grinding. If you don’t try to stop your clenching and grinding, then given time, you can wear away most of your enamel. Worn off enamel means weaker teeth, and weaker teeth are the best candidates for fractures and brakes in the teeth.
To prevent this from happening to your teeth, a Los Angeles cosmetic dentistry will most likely recommend a night guard for you to wear while you sleep. These are custom-made plastic trays (almost like sport’s guards) that fit your mouth according to your bite. They are either made for your top teeth or your bottom teeth. These trays act as a protective layer for your teeth and prevent you from grinding down your enamel. Patients who wear their night guards for a very long time notice the wear in the plastic. If they hadn’t worn the guards, that same wear, or more, would have been on their teeth. These trays are the most conservative approach when it comes to grinding or clenching and are considered one of the best options.
If you have noticed any of the aforementioned symptoms, then visit Dr. Arthur A. Kezian DDS. He is a cosmetic dentist that helps many patients with their grinding and clenching habits. Don’t put the situation to the side. If you prioritize your teeth, you will be able to keep them in the long run.