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Posted on: November 2, 2020
Why Do More People Have Cracked Teeth?
According to a recent article in the New York Times, a surprising effect of the coronavirus shutdown has been an increase in the incidence of cracked teeth. Dentists have reported that many of their patients are complaining of migraines, increased tooth sensitivity, and jaw pain that have arisen due to the onset of bruxism. Characterized by clenching the jaw and grinding the teeth, bruxism adversely affects sleep and contributes to poor posture, among many other things.
To avoid lasting damage, visit your dentist or call our office to set up a consultation with one of our dentists. The last thing you need right now is the added stress of a cracked tooth or sore jaw.
What’s the Definition of Bruxism?
Bruxism is a medical term for clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth. Clenching is defined as an excessive amount of bite force applied to the jaws, and grinding is a back-and-forth motion that can wear down the tooth enamel and damage the jaw. Often, people who have bruxism are unaware of the fact until their dentist or sleep partner points it out.
When not treated, bruxism can seriously damage both the enamel and structure of the teeth; it can lead to decay and more sensitive teeth. Side effects also include disruptive sleep, headaches, and neck, facial, and jaw pain. Bruxism is more common when one or more of the following factors are present:
- Age: Bruxism often occurs in young children who are less than 6 years old.
- Extreme Emotions: Anger, fear, frustration, and stress are common triggers for bruxism.
- Drinks and Medications: Alcohol, caffeine, psychiatric medications, and smoking can trigger the onset of bruxism.
- Personality: Aggressive, competitive, or hyperactive individuals are more inclined to develop bruxism.
- Health Conditions: Those who have ADHD, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and sleep apnea may be more inclined to develop bruxism.
Are There Methods to Prevent Daytime Bruxism?
Since the precise cause of bruxism isn’t known at the moment, there is no clear-cut answer for preventing its onset. However, it’s thought to be a combination of psychological, genetic, and physical factors that may be triggered by intense emotions such as anger, anxiety, frustration, stress or tension. The following actions may reduce the amount of bruxism you experience:
- Limit consumption of alcohol and caffeine, particularly before bedtime
- Quit smoking, especially before bedtime
- Use relaxation techniques such as meditation, a hot bath, soft music, or taking a walk
Can My Dentist Help Prevent My Bruxism?
If you have been told you have bruxism or you clench and grind your teeth, then call our office to schedule an appointment. A custom-fitted night guard might be the answer for your bruxism problem, and it can prevent additional damage to your jaw and teeth. You can purchase a night guard at a drug store, but you’ll have much better results from a custom-fitted night guard. Although it might cost more initially, it will be more cost-effective over time. Custom-fitted night guards are made from higher quality materials, so they last longer. Since they’re custom-made for your mouth, you’ll wear them more consistently because they’re more comfortable. A custom night guard will also be less likely to slip around or fall out. Call our office for an appointment if you’re interested in a custom night guard.
What’s the Purpose of a Night Guard?
A night guard will restore the natural space that should be between your lower and upper teeth. This will lessen the effects of grinding and clenching your teeth, so you won’t continue to damage the structure and enamel of your teeth and dental work.
How Does a Night Guard Help?
A night guard can alleviate the jaw pain and morning headaches that accompany bruxism. It can also help alleviate the pain and discomfort of TMJ syndrome. A night guard is affordable, convenient, and it’s non-invasive.
What Does TMJ Stand for Normally?
TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint and TMJ syndrome is a disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint that connects the skull to the jawbone. It’s often caused by jaw injuries or bruxism. Symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder include:
- Clicking or popping sounds when you close or open your mouth
- Difficulty opening your mouth very wide
- Increased tooth sensitivity or pain in the areas of the ear, jaw, face, neck, or shoulders
- Intense, sharp pain when you bite down
- Problems when chewing
- Unilateral facial edema
Will a Night Guard Prevent TMJ?
A night guard may not prevent TMJ because the disorder can stem from various causes. However, it can alleviate the discomfort of TMJ and eliminate further damage to your teeth and jaw. If you need a custom night guard, then call our office, and we can help you.
Will a Night Guard Prevent Jaw Clenching?
A custom-fitted night guard can reduce the effects of bruxism and the need for expensive dental work. Bruxism can cause substantial and expensive damage to your teeth and jawbone, and a night guard can lessen the impact of bruxism on your teeth and jaw. However, a night guard will not eliminate the cause of bruxism; you need to consult your dentist about that.
Where Can I Get a Custom Night Guard?
Your dentist is the best source for a custom-fitted night guard. When your night guard is customized to your mouth, it will be more comfortable, it won’t fall out, and you’ll be more apt to wear it. Getting fitted for a night guard is very simple. You’ll need to make an appointment with your dentist or call our office for an appointment, and when you come in, we’ll make an impression of your mouth. This will be used to fabricate your custom-fitted night guard. When it’s ready, you’ll return to our office, we’ll adjust it for fit and comfort, and then you’re done.
What Will a Bruxism Night Guard Cost?
Although a custom-fitted night guard will be more expensive initially, it will be less expensive over time than an over-the-counter night guard you buy from the drug store. When you purchase a custom night guard, the materials are of better quality, so they’ll last longer, it will be customized to your unique gums and teeth, and it will be more comfortable.
If you need a custom-fitted night guard, then call Advanced Dental Care of Florida at to schedule an appointment. If you need help with your bruxism, then your dentist can provide solutions for you. Bruxism can have serious consequences, so don’t ignore it. Call us today.
We look forward to working with you.