If you’ve ever woke up with a sore jaw, you may have a dental condition called bruxism. Those with bruxism involuntarily clench their jaw and grind their teeth, usually while they sleep and are unaware. Chronic bruxism can lead to extreme teeth wear that leads to extensive and expensive dental restoration work. The constant teeth grinding of bruxism wears down your teeth and your teeth’s enamel. Everyday tasks of eating, drinking, chewing and occasional teeth grinding wears away tooth enamel at a rate of.3 millimeters every 10 years. With bruxism, the erosion rate of tooth enamel increases to 1 millimeter every 10 years. This may not seem like much, but your tooth enamel doesn’t grow back once it is worn off. Once it is gone, it is gone forever.
Your teeth in general get worn down from the constant teeth grinding from bruxism. In extreme cases, people with bruxism clench or grind their teeth as often as 40 minutes. The force produced by the teeth grinding can reach up to 250 pounds per square inch, which is enough force to crack a walnut. The permanent loss of tooth enamel and the wearing down of teeth can lead to more serious dental problems, which makes bruxism a dental issue that requires prompt intervention.
How Mouth Guards Help
The most effective method to treat bruxism and protect your teeth is through mouth guards. Mouth guards are soft plastic trays made to fit your mouth and teeth to prevent teeth on teeth contact that comes with grinding. They are less bulky than sport mouth guards. Besides providing a protective layer between teeth, they also provide cushioning when you clench your jaw. This results in less jaw pain in the morning. Night mouth guards also help keep your jaws aligned, which is something sport mouth guards don’t do. Your mouth guard will be custom made to specifically fit your mouth and is made within a few days.
If you or someone you know complains of jaw pain, be sure to contact us and we’ll discuss how a mouth guard can relieve your bruxism and halt its devastating effects on your teeth.