Have you ever felt overly stressed? That’s just you perceiving stress emotionally and coping with it. Do you know all the ways your body reacts to stress? One of the many ways your brain may signal your body to cope with a new stressor is teeth grinding—or bruxism. About 8% of American adults grind their teeth for various reasons. Consistent teeth grinding can become a severe problem if you don’t intervene. Whether your bruxism has been a lifelong habit or if it just started yesterday, your Los Angeles Dentist, Dr. Les Latner, wants you to understand when it’s time to seek professional help before your smile becomes damaged. Here are 5 signs that you may need a custom mouthguard from Westside Dental Associates.
1. You experience chronic headaches.
Are the temples of your head pounding every morning? This could be one of the many results of bruxism. A mouth guard won’t stop you from grinding altogether, but it will add a cushion that would otherwise be missing. Talk to Dr. Latner about getting a custom mouthguard created to protect your teeth and jaws.
2. You consistently grind your teeth.
Some people grind periodically because of temporary issues, such as stress at work. If your bruxism is chronic, meaning you grind most nights, it’s probably best to see your dentist about a mouth guard for teeth grinding. While it won’t stop the actual clenching of your jaw, a mouth guard can minimize the negative effects on your teeth if you’re grinding every night.
3. You’ve been prescribed antidepressants.
Always let your dentist know if you’re currently taking medication for another condition. If you just were prescribed antidepressant medication or currently take it, talk to your dentist about a mouth guard. A study published in a 2012 issue of Clinics found that paroxetine, the main ingredient in some antidepressants, can cause nighttime teeth grinding. Keep both your doctor and dentist up to date with your symptoms if you experience any.
4. You’ve chipped a tooth.
If you ever wake up with a chip or crack in your tooth, it’s a red flag that your bruxism has become damaging to your smile. Now, you’ll be facing dental repair costs and living with a damaged smile in the meantime. As you touch your teeth together and grind back and forth, you can put too much pressure on the enamel and permanently damage your teeth.
5. You Have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder) occurs when the muscles around the jaw become inflamed, which sometimes happens as the result of clenching the teeth together and grinding. If Dr. Latner notices signs of this disorder, ask about the custom orthotic devices we can create for you. A mouth guard will prevent your teeth from clenching and grinding, alleviating some of the pain associated with TMJD.
Get Your Custom Mouthguard Today!
If you’ve shown any of the 5 signs mentioned above, your “minor” bruxism problem actually be a serious oral health concern. It’s better to seek assistance with your teeth grinding in its earliest stages rather than when your smile becomes damaged. Do you still have questions about teeth grinding? Contact our office to explore our orthotic options.