Do you spend your nights sleeping like a lamb, or do you spend them more like the proverbial crazed rabbit gnawing away incessantly? While most of us are dreaming peacefully, about one in 10 people gnash their teeth and aggressively clench their jaw muscles during sleep.
This unintentional workout of the facial muscles leaves behind it a trail of pain and destruction. Teeth can end up worn down to the gum, and this can even result in abscesses around the tooth roots. There’s often a slow deterioration of the smile due to the ever-shortening teeth, with an accompanying enlargement of the masseter muscles in the cheeks, giving an overly square facial appearance.
Annoyingly for a grinder, expensive trips to the dentist can seem to be never ending, with teeth breaking, jaw joint pain and fillings coming out.
However it’s not only adults who grind their teeth; more than a third of parents report symptoms of bruxism in their children. The children who grind their teeth differ from healthy children, as they can tend to suffer more from depression and stress and tend to be more anxious than those who don’t.
Generally, 4 out of 5 people that have bruxism are unaware that have it although it is a serious condition that can lead to the deterioration of gums and teeth as well as damage joints and supporting muscles. Just because a person grinds their teeth, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have bruxism. Clenching can also be a simple habitual trait that could have no negative effects, and it is only when there is obvious wear and tear or discomfort that it’s considered self-destructive behaviour.
The effects of Bruxism can be far-reaching and affect people quite badly if left untreated, as is often the case, but it can be easily and inexpensively treated and much reduced for many.
It’s often stated that bruxism is caused by stress although the cause is really unknown – unlike the devastating results. Teeth grinding not only wears down the vital enamel, but can also result in a fracturing, loosening or even loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may even wear teeth down to stumps and that results in bridges, crowns, implants, and partial or even complete dentures being required.
Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaw and its joints, and that results in earache, headaches, and can cause or worsen jaw joint disease (temporo-mandibular joint – often referred to as TMJ disorder), and even change the appearance of your face as previously described through the major muscle changes.
One of the important aspects of good oral health is to keep teeth strong. Your smile flashes your teeth, and to be confident, you need to have strong, white teeth. Your smile is one of your best features, but unfortunately, if you fail to prevent bruxism, your best feature can become your worst asset which often means it stays hidden, and that can have a real effect on the image that you project in your personal, social and professional life.
Ask any Dentist or GP and the solution is to wear a mouth guard during sleep to protect your teeth from grinding. Although small, they give powerful protection.
Although they can be bought cheaply as pre-formed stock items, they won’t give you the long-lasting comfortable protection that you need. That can only happen with a guard that is custom made and these are made in a specialist laboratory or clinic based on an impression of your dental profile. The mouth guard is then moulded over the model using a special material. Due to the use of the special material and because of the extra time and work involved, this custom-made mouth guard is more expensive than the other types, but it provides the most comfort and protection.
They are generally made to cover your upper teeth only, but on request can be made to fit your lower set if needs be, and they usually come in a choice of thicknesses to suit you and the severity of your problem.
An effective mouth guard should be comfortable, resist any likelihood of tearing, be durable and easy to clean, and it should not restrict your breathing or speech in any way. Check out SleepPro Night Guard – it’s everything you need to solve the problem.
The result will be a happier you – and reflected in your smile.