According to the American Dental Association (ADA), teeth grinding - also known as bruxism, can create serious problems for oral health. People who grind their teeth may be completely unaware of the habit because it typically occurs when they sleep. This condition affects approximately 30-40 million people (10-15% of the population).

Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism

  • Rhythmic contractions of the jaw muscles
  • A grinding sound at night
  • Tight or painful jaw muscles
  • Long-lasting pain in the face
  • Occasional swelling on the side of the lower jaw as a result of clenching
  • Headaches

If you frequently wake up with a sore jaw, a dull headache or tooth pain, you may be suffering from bruxism.

Bruxism and Oral Health

The primary cause of bruxism are stress and anxiety. According to the ADA, people who grind their teeth ultimately weaken their tooth's structures. Tooth enamel is the protective barrier that surrounds teeth and is especially prone to damage from teeth grinding. The extra force placed on the teeth from bruxism can also damage restorative dental work such as fillings and crowns.

Grinding the teeth and clenching the jaw can also strain the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) which connects the jawbone to the skull.

Night Guards

Putnam Dental Associates offers our patients custom night guards. By taking an impression of your mouth, we are able to create a solution that is the perfect fit for you. The main function of the night guard is to prevent the surfaces of your teeth from grinding together, which can result in the chipping or cracking of your teeth and the straining of your jaw muscles.

By addressing this issue early, you can prevent widespread damage to your teeth.

If you think you may be suffering from bruxism, contact our office to make an appointment so we can determine if a custom night guard is right for you.