Teeth grinding (bruxism) is an epidemic. More than half of adults clench or grind their teeth while they sleep! It can result from stress, crowded or misaligned teeth, jaw problems, or sleep apnea. The damage that is caused can result in fractured teeth, sometimes to the point of being non-repairable!
What are the symptoms of teeth grinding? Different people have different symptoms. Some people wake up with jaw pain, some wake up with headaches. Still others have no symptoms except for damage to their teeth. Sometimes the damage requires fillings to fix, sometimes crowns, sometimes teeth need to be removed and replaced with implants! Sometimes grinding causes bone loss and loose teeth.
How do we treat teeth grinding? An appliance called a nightguard is needed. This is a custom appliance made just for you and your unique bite. Sometimes Invisalign is the best option because a traumatic bite or misaligned teeth are causing the grinding.
Many people ask “Can I just get a nightguard at the pharmacy?” We DO NOT recommend those. The most important aspect of the custom nightguard is the bite. Since the bite on an over the counter nightguard can’t be changed, they often cause more issues than they solve. They sometimes even cause irreversible bite issues, requiring extensive orthodontic treatment to fix.
Dr. Kathy is one of an elite group of general dentists who have completed advanced training in orthodontics. She treats every age from pre-teen to adults to straighten teeth and align their jaws. Why should you choose a general dentist for your braces rather than an orthodontist? Both will provide you with excellent care. But a properly trained general dentist will also be able to treat decay and gum problems at the same time as your orthodontics, saving you time.