Most adults that grind their teeth do so as a result of stress. Chronic night grinding can pose multiple threats to your mouth. The unnatural forces exerted by grinding your teeth can cause your bite pattern to meet improperly and result in chips on one or more teeth. Even if the chip doesn’t give you pain the compromised surface is still prone to harboring new areas of tooth decay.
Over a long period of time, chronic night grinding can also start to weaken and compromise jaw muscles or result in inflammation forming in the temporomandibular joints that hinge your jaw. The symptoms and discomfort this leads to is given the blanket term TMJ disorder.
One of the most effective ways of preventing problems resulting from chronic night grinding is to sleep with a night guard in your mouth. This is a soft, yet durable plastic mouthpiece that cushions the biting surfaces of your teeth, while also allowing them to slip past each other, mitigating the effects of tension in the jaw.
Many people complain that the night guards sold in stores can be uncomfortable. Some can slip excessively or lead to increased salivation. Fortunately, the orthodontic team at TMJ Therapy can fit you for a custom night guard designed to match your unique mouth shape and bite pattern.
Are you struggling with chronic night grinding? If so, we invite you to call TMJ Therapy’s office in American Fork, Utah at 801-756-0900 to set up an appointment. We look forward to helping you get a good night’s sleep again!