Many people struggle with controlling themselves from grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw. This can be one of the hardest mental compulsions for humans to stop. Making this situation even more difficult is that often, this activity happens overnight, while the patient is deep in sleep.
As you might imagine, stopping behavior when you are not conscious is a very difficult task. What is available is the protection that you can receive with custom night guards. By placing a comfortable and durable barrier between your teeth, you can save yourself from many concerns, from constant jaw pain and headaches to broken or flattened teeth.
Today, your Cerritos, CA dentist speaks to you about how this technology may help you to keep your smile intact and shining!
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the dental term for the unconscious collision of the jaw, and it can take many different forms. Grinding, gnashing, clenching are all types of movement that fall under this umbrella. And to complicate things, there is sleep and awake bruxism, depending on when the event occurs.
For people who experience this while they are asleep, the problems can be especially difficult to treat. Your mind is given hours to operate without your waking self to control the urges. These actions can also be highly repetitive, causing localized damage that can be especially severe.
What Sort Of Harm?
One way that this activity can cause problems with your smile is with the tooth structure itself. The repeated crashing and rubbing together can cause the shape of the tooth to flatten or become smaller, like a rock that has been worn away by erosion. If this becomes severe enough, it may expose the root and pulp, requiring a root canal. The strength of the jaw is incredible as well, and can actually create cracks in your enamel, also leading toward a root canal.
The alignment of your smile can be in jeopardy, as well. This shifting is often highly asymmetrical, so there can be significant undesirable changes in your appearance. We always prefer preventive medicine, so stopping these shifts before they occur is key. Keeping to a strict schedule with your regular examinations and cleanings can also help to notice concerns while they are smaller.
How Do They Help?
There are two primary forms of night guards available to the public, and the first is in your local drugstore or supermarket. This is called a “boil-and-bite” guard, and it operates similarly to those used by sports players. Made from a strong thermoplastic, you soak it in hot water until it becomes soft. Then you bite down directly until it rehardens. Afterward, you are left with a mold of your mouth that you can wear overnight.
We also produce custom mouthguards if you are in need of a slimmer, sleeker option. These are less intrusive to your nightly sleep, and many people find them to be more comfortable. Whichever way you choose, be sure to keep your smile safe!
ABOUT YOUR CERRITOS, CA, ORAL SURGEON:
Dr. Shawn Hofkes and the staff at Cerritos Dental Surgery are highly qualified to address complex issues, including those that require oral surgery to correct. To schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly welcome patients of all ages from Cerritos, CA, and all surrounding communities, such as Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and more.