One telltale sign of tension is constant stiff muscles on the back and shoulders. Another is clenching your jaws. You may not notice it, but jaw clenching puts a lot of stress on your teeth. With the Guinness Book of Records recording as much as 975 pounds per square inch for a single person’s bite, it’s no wonder that people who regularly clench their jaws due to tension cause so much damage. Unfortunately, damage does not stop when one is awake. Some people carry their tension to bed and end up grinding their teeth while sleeping.
What is Sleep Bruxism?
Sleep bruxism is grinding teeth while sleeping. The exact cause is unknown, but it may be attributed to abnormal bite, missing or uneven teeth, sleep problems, anxiety, aggressiveness, side effects of certain medications and disease complications. Recent studies also indicate that extremely stressed people grind their teeth heavily while asleep. All this grinding wears down teeth and cause pain around the jaw muscles. Tense people may also exhibit poor teeth in general.
Preventing teeth deterioration caused by sleep bruxism is a two-step process: The first step is to treat the symptom and stop teeth grinding. This can be done by fitting the patient with a mouth guard to separate the upper and lower sets of teeth during slumber. The second step is to eliminate the cause. If the problem is tension, the dentist may recommend other options like regular exercise and caffeine reduction. Sometimes, a patient is referred to a stress management specialist.
If the problem is abnormal bite, this can be corrected by grinding down ill-fitting fillings. For crooked teeth, braces or oral appliances can be long-term solutions. If the problem is missing teeth, however, adding artificial teeth or creating bridges to fill gaps can help.
New Albany Implants offers solutions for patients with no teeth, including removable dentures or snap-ons, the One Day Smile Solution, mini-implants and implants. Dr. Ron Receveur is an expert implant dentist in New Albany, IN. Call us today to set up a consultation.