Sleeping in the same room as a tooth grinder can make for uncomfortable and nerve wrecking nights. “If you wake up with extremely sore jaws and teeth, then you may be a sleep grinder,” says Shell Beach dentist Dr. Perry Patel.
Teeth grinding is known clinically as bruxism. This can develop at any age and is done unconsciously usually during sleep. It is natural for a small amount of teeth grinding to occur.
Teeth grinding can adversely affect the health of teeth, gums, jaw, and even neck muscles. The most common outcomes of chronic teeth grinding are teeth chipping, fractures, and eventual tooth loss.
Check the stress at the door. Stress can bring on teeth grinding episodes. So too can smoking, anxiety, caffeine and depression. Dr. Perry Patel, D.D.S. recommends visiting a primary health care physician in addition to a dentist so a holistic view of the problem can be determined and treated.
Get a mouth guard and use it. A protective mouth guard worn at night when most teeth grinding occurs can be a cost effective and quick solution. Before applying a mouth guard, schedule an appointment with Dr. Perry Patel, D.D.S. and he can review current oral health and help to choose a custom fit mouth guard to best treat the problem. An ill-fitting mouth guard can cause more harm as the teeth will apply large amounts of pressure on it which can in turn damage the soft tissues inside the mouth.
Get sleeping patterns checked - seriously. One of the leading causes of teeth grinding is a sleep disorder. Since we cannot be both awake and asleep at the same time, it is impossible to know detailed information about one’s sleeping and if it is normal. If teeth grinding has just started or has been a chronic issue, now may be the time to seek out a sleep specialist to get to the root of the problem. Dr. Perry Patel, D.D.S. suggests consulting with family members as well to see if they have similar sleep disturbance issues and what they have done to diagnose or treat these issues. It is not uncommon for teeth grinding (and underlying sleep disorders) to have a familial component.
Bringing teeth grinding to a halt will require teamwork. A dentist may need to share information or consult with a physician and/or a sleep specialist. The dedicated staff at Dr. Perry Patel D.D.S. are ready and willing to help. Contact the office today to at (805) 489-4761 to schedule a consultation visit.
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Perry Patel DDS
901 Oak Park Blvd.
Pismo Beach, CA 93449