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Teeth Grinding and Night Guards in Prairieville, LA

Tooth grinding, officially called bruxism, is a widespread problem that affects millions of people. Although there are a multitude of things that can combine to contribute to this problem, the solution is fairly simple.

Fabrication of a custom night guard appliance or splint can protect your teeth, joints, and supporting structures and decrease the chances that you’ll develop some sort of TMJ problem.

What Causes People to Grind their Teeth?

Although there are many theories regarding the cause of bruxism, the most commonly accepted one involves a particular bundle of nerves in the skull (called a ganglion) that becomes hyperactive due to overstimulation. There is a threshold that, once surpassed, causes the jaw muscles to become overactive, especially at night.

Stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, posture, diet, or a misaligned bite are just a few of the most common stimulants that contribute to this threshold being exceeded. Some people may grind their teeth during the day, but the large majority of people who are bruxers clench or grind their teeth while sleeping.

What Kinds of Problems Can Clenching or Grinding Cause?

The most common problems caused by bruxism are tooth wear, muscle fatigue, headaches, and disrupted sleep of poor quality. Because almost everyone who grinds their teeth does so while sleeping, many people may be unaware that they are a bruxer.

While you are sleeping, your body doesn’t have the same protective reflex mechanism that it does while you’re awake. Because of this you can exert A LOT more pressure on your teeth and joints while you are sleeping, and this contributes greatly to the aforementioned problems. Some of those problems can lead to more severe symptoms such as migraines, fractured teeth, or insomnia.

What is the Treatment for People who Clench or Grind their Teeth?

Because there is no way to prevent you from clenching or grinding, the best treatment available is to have the appropriate custom night guard or splint made to prevent any damage to your teeth, joints, and supporting structures. Proper diet, exercise, and stress management are also very helpful adjuncts that can aid in treatment.

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