As many as one in three people clench or grind their teeth – usually without even knowing it. And most do it at night, waking up with a sore jaw or headache. This is called “bruxism”. Aside from pain, bruxism can cause damage or even loosen teeth. Protecting your teeth and mouth from potential harm starts with a dental consultation to identify the issue and ends with finding the right solution.
When you brux, the forces on your teeth are many times greater than during normal chewing and can cause flattened, worn or lose teeth and often damage to the jawbone or joints. Other symptoms include sore or tired jaw, earaches and headaches. Sometimes missing, worn, or misaligned teeth cause you to grind your teeth into a more comfortable position. In this case, neuromuscular dentistry, along with an orthotic, is the first course of treatment. Once complete, orthodontics, crowns, bridges or equilibration may be next. These treatments can restore your bite and eliminate grinding and clenching.
While there are many sport guards on the market, having one that is custom-fitted by a dentist can provide full protection with less bulk, making it easier to breathe and enjoy your sport.