If you find yourself constantly grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep, you are not alone. Teeth grinding, or bruxism as it is also known, is, unfortunately, a common oral condition. You may not even be aware that you do this if you sleep alone or sleep heavily. Today, Dr. Tim and our team are happy to shed some light on this condition so that we can help protect your smile.
Stress: The most common cause of nighttime teeth grinding is stress. When your mind is stressed, clenching and grinding your teeth is a way for the body to release stress.
Sleep Apnea: Another common cause of this bruxism is the sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. With sleep apnea, you have one or more pauses in breathing or take shallow breaths which can last from a few seconds to minutes.
Oral Health Issues: Oral irritations in the mouth, or allergies, or even crooked teeth are also common denominators when it comes to teeth grinding, particularly in children.
If teeth grinding goes untreated, over time it will result in damage to your pearly whites. This happens because clenching produces so much pressure that it can chip and break the teeth. But that isn’t all. It can even result in severe headaches and jaw soreness.
The good news is that there is help. In addition to implementing relaxation techniques, having your oral conditions treated, and changing some habits, wearing a night guard while you sleep can protect your smile while you sleep. This oral appliance is custom fitted to be worn over your teeth to prevent wear and tear from bruxism.
Dr. Tim and our dental team at Timothy Rothwell in OKC, Oklahoma, can help you protect your pearly whites and maintain your healthy smile. We invite you to reach out to us by calling 405-728-7632 today!