What threats can affect your oral health while you sleep? You brush your teeth before bed to remove plaque deposits that can cause decay and infect your gums. But what can you do to stop the physical wear and tear of a nightly grinding habit? Also known as bruxism, clenching your teeth back and forth throughout the night can do serious damage to your protective enamel layer. While removing sugary snacks from your diet can help prevent cavities, the loss of this outside surface can leave you vulnerable to decay and other oral health problems. In addition to increasing decay, this damage brings your teeth out of alignment, which can lead to an uneven application of the force of your bite. When certain teeth take on too much pressure, they can crack and chip, leading to even more loss of healthy material.
At your Ankeny, IA, dental practice, we would like to help relieve your frustration with bruxism. When you come into our office, we can inspect your teeth for signs of wear and tear and provide an intervention therapy to protect them. By wearing an oral guard while you sleep, you can separate each row of teeth to reduce the damage from constant grinding. Because this treatment reduces the constant pressure of clenching, you can wake up each morning feeling more relaxed.
Discovering Your Bruxism Habit
How do you detect behavior that happens when you are unconscious? If you wake up with a sore jaw or facial muscles each morning, it could be a sign of constant clenching at night. Chips or cracks on your teeth, particularly your molars, are another common sign to seek additional care for. By asking a family member to watch over you while you sleep, they can tell if you are gnashing your teeth while you sleep. The habit can become quite loud, and they may even simply hear it.
Wearing An Oral Guard To Protect Your Smile
If we suspect you are grinding, we can provide an oral guard to safeguard your teeth while you sleep. Made from custom-fit BPA-free materials, your oral guard will prevent the surface of your teeth from wearing away one another. Because each person’s bite is unique, form-fitting your appliance helps ensure your comfort while you get used to your treatment.
Talk To Your Ankeny, IA Dentist About Protecting Your Teeth From Bruxism
If you suspect a nightly grinding habit, we could provide an oral guard to help protect your smile. Preventing surface damage to your enamel can lessen the need for more involved intervention down the road. Consider asking your family for help in detecting this unconscious behavior. For more information on bruxism or to schedule a visit, please contact your Ankeny, IA, dentist’s office at (515) 207-6182. We are also happy to serve patients from Alleman, Elkhart, Bondurant, and other nearby communities.