One of the things your dentist looks for at your biannual teeth cleaning check-ups is a pattern of wear and tear on the teeth caused by bruxism. Bruxism is the habit of grinding (sliding your clenched teeth back and forth) while awake or sleeping. Stress is one of the biggest causes of nighttime teeth grinding, and as long as it is not done over and over it won’t permanently damage your pearly whites.
But what if you are one of those people who are highly anxious, or chronically stressed out, and you engage in nightly teeth grinding? Ultimately you are not getting a good night’s sleep nor are you helping to preserve the longevity of your teeth.
Chronic bruxism wears down the tooth enamel and causes your teeth to be susceptible to cracks and fissures, considerably weakening the tooth structure over time. It can also fracture fillings and crowns, and cause gum and bone problems resulting in eventual tooth loss.
Most people with bruxism tend to grind and clench during the lighter stages of sleep. This constant movement prevents you from going into the deeper sleep stages where you get the healing benefits vital to restoring your brain and body health.
If you find that you cannot stop grinding your teeth on your own by reducing your stress and anxiety, you may want to enlist the help of a protective mouth guard while you sleep. This will help you feel more comfortable and help you achieve the deeper states of sleep your body needs while preserving your tooth health.
Our dentists at Arden Dental Group can custom-fit your mouth guard by taking a dental impression and having an acrylic mouth guard created to fit over your teeth. Please contact our team at 828-684-9260 to find out if this is something that can help you to get the sleep your body craves!