Your bite changes naturally over time, but teeth grinding can lead to a misaligned bite.
The Vicious Circle of Bruxism
External factors such as anxiety and stress often lead to teeth grinding. This habit also might develop due to jaw pain or malocclusion (the clinical term for a misaligned bite). Bruxism also can create alignment problems with your bite or jaw. Patients with TMJ disorder may be more prone to having bruxism. Our dentists have the experience and training to identify this disorder, even if you are grinding your teeth in your sleep and never know this is happening to you.
The Consequences of Teeth Grinding
According to the American Sleep Association, approximately 10 percent of adults and 15 percent of children in the United States have bruxism. That adds up to more than 30 million Americans.
The habitual grinding exerts extreme amounts of force on teeth, up to 600 pounds of force per square inch. These forces can be devastating. A Chicago Tribune article reported that 10 percent of bruxism patients wear down their teeth to nubs because of their habit. The first step in protecting your teeth against the damaging effects of bruxism is to wear a nightguard.
Treat Your Bruxism with a Mouth Guard
At Lake Forest Smiles, we understand how to identify bruxism and provide relief by supplying you with a custom-made mouthguard. These oral appliances may look similar to the night guards you can purchase in stores, but they are made of higher-quality materials. Our mouthguards are durable, and each is unique—designed from the impressions of your mouth for a snug, secure, and comfortable fit. When worn, the mouthguards provided by Lake Forest Smiles will protect your teeth from additional damage.
We recommend the following regimen of care to prolong the effective life of your mouthguard:
- Bring your mouthguard to each of your regularly scheduled appointments to our Lake Forest general dentist office so it can be cleaned and inspected for signs of wear or damage.
- You can clean your nightguard at home by brushing it the same way you do your teeth. We also advise rinsing the nightguard in a denture cleaning solution once a week.
- Always rinse with tepid water, as hot water may warp the nightguard
- When not wearing your nightguard, please store it in a dry container.
Nightguards for Bruxism – Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire
You do not have to live with bruxism or the potential consequences this behavior can have on your oral health. If you think you suffer from bruxism or have already been diagnosed with this disorder, schedule a consultation at Lake Forest Smiles by calling (847) 234-4800. Drs. Campbell and Schmidt have been providing elite dental care to the communities of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire for more than 30 years. We welcome you to our practice.