Tension and stress can cause you to clench your jaw and grind your teeth when you’re awake or asleep. You may not realize that you’re a habitual grinder or clencher, but over time the pressure and wear caused by these actions can take a toll on your smile. Fortunately, Blackman Grove Dental in Murfreesboro can help you take steps to protect your teeth.
The Dangers of Grinding and Clenching
Each time you grind or clench your teeth, you are putting pressure and stress on your teeth and your jaw. Grinding and clenching your teeth repeatedly over time can lead to a wide range of symptoms and problems, including:
– Flattening of teeth that can make chewing difficult
– Chipping and loosening of teeth
– Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
– Pain or soreness in the jaw, neck or face
– Earache-type pain
– Dull headaches that originate in the temple region and more severe tension headaches
– Problems sleeping
– Costly damage to crowns, fillings and restorations
How a Mouthguard Can Help
Because most people clench or grind their teeth at night or as an unconscious habit, it’s not usually possible to simply stop the problem. Instead, the remedy for teeth grinding and clenching is wearing a protective mouthguard at night or during stressful activities.
When properly fitted by a Murfreesboro dentist, a mouthguard serves as a protective covering over the teeth. It absorbs the stress of clenching and reduces wear and tear on the teeth due to grinding. Wearing a mouthguard as recommended by a dentist can greatly reduce the risk of unpleasant symptoms and complications due to grinding and clenching.
Special Protection for Athletes
Sports are great exercise and help to build teamwork and sportsmanship. Unfortunately, sports can put an athlete’s smile in jeopardy. A blow to the mouth on the playing field can result in broken or chipped teeth, and many athletes clench or grind when the game gets intense. Athletic guards address these problems by serving as a protective shield from impact, clenching and grinding. As with mouthguards for night, athletic guards should be acquired through an experienced dentist to ensure an optimal fit.
Taking steps to address grinding and clenching now can help you avoid irreversible harm to your teeth in the future. To learn more about grinding, clenching, and the benefits of mouthguards, call our dentists in Murfreesboro at Blackman Grove Dental today.