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Posted on: October 29, 2020
Are Cracked Teeth on the Rise?
A combination of anxiety from COVID-19 and deferred, routine dental care is creating a record number of people coming to the dentist with signs excessive teeth grinding and jaw clenching. They have teeth with hairline cracks, broken teeth and sore jaws. Dentists may have noticed their patients have started grinding their teeth and clenching them more often, but people were seeking emergency care only. A hairline crack in a tooth is only going to get worse and costlier to repair if someone delays treatment. Dentists are taking all recommended measures to ensure their patients’ safety. Be sure to visit your dentist soon!
What Does It Mean If a Dental Professional Says They See Signs of Bruxism?
If grind, clench or gnash your teeth at night, you have nighttime bruxism. Dentists will see the signs if you do this since long-term bruxism causes visible damage to your teeth. It wears them down, cracks them and causes chips. Bruxism also causes physical symptoms, such as headaches, sore jaws and earaches.
- Individuals who are more prone to bruxism include:
- People under a great deal of stress
- Individuals with high levels of anxiety
- People with obstructive sleep apnea
- Individuals with high caffeine intakes
- People who drink alcohol or engage in cigarette smoking
- People who have a close family member suffering from bruxism
Is There Daytime Bruxism?
People may clench their teeth during the day as an unconscious reaction to frustration or anxiety, but it tends to be more uncommon for them to grind their teeth. Once people realize their habit, they can take steps to relieve their tension in a less destructive way, such as:
- Taking a walk
- Writing about stressful events in a journal
- Going to a park
- Petting a cat or dog
- Deep breathing
- Listening to soothing music
Should I See a Dentist for Help?
If you’re waking up with a sore jaw, your teeth are suddenly sensitive or you have another dental issue with no obvious cause, see your dentist. If you don’t have a family dentist, please call our office. One of our knowledgeable dentists will perform an exam and look for signs of bruxism during these stressful times. We are happily accepting new patients.
What Are Made-to-Order Night Guards?
You get a made-to-order night guard from your dentist. It resembles the trays you use to whiten your teeth. Some people call them bite splints. It cushions your teeth so they don’t touch, preventing the force from jaw clenching and teeth grinding from damaging your teeth. It won’t necessarily stop you from grinding your teeth.
Why Do People Wear Bruxism Guards at Night?
Many people are starting to wear night guards to help with the symptoms of bruxism. A night guard for bruxism won’t solve your teeth grinding or jaw clenching problem, but it can severely limit the amount of pain you feel or damage you do to your teeth. This device works as a cushion between the teeth, preventing you from rubbing of the enamel or cracking a tooth.
What Is TMJ Syndrome?
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the two joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. The joints allow you to open your mouth, yawn and chew. TMJ syndrome is when you have something wrong with the joints, which can be caused by an injury, arthritis or bruxism. Symptoms of TMJ syndrome may include:
- Jaw pain or soreness
- Pain around your ear
- Trouble chewing
- Your jaw locking
- Your jaw clicking when you move it
- Your bite changes
Can I Get TMJ Pain Relief from a Night Guard?
A night guard can reduce the pain associated with overusing your jaw muscles when you clench your jaw or grind your teeth. It’s a non-invasive and effective treatment if your TMJ pain comes from bruxism. We can help you get a customized night guard to ease your pain; please call us to schedule an appointment.
Why Is It Important to Get a Personalized Night Guard?
Made-to-order night guards may cost more than online or store bought night guards for bruxism, but they are worth the additional cost. Made-to-order night guards are made from more durable materials; they will last longer and offer better protection. Your natural teeth deserve the best cushioning you can give them, since you can’t get any other ones. You also want the most comfortable appliance you can buy so you will wear it every night.
How Do I Get Fitted for a Customized Night Guard?
If you want a customized night guard, please call our dental practice. One of our skilled bruxism dentists will determine what type of night guard you need and take an impression of your teeth. He or she will instruct the dental lab to make you a specific type of night guard from a mold they create. Your dentist will make sure the night guard fits you well so you can get started wearing it right away. It will not take long for you to get used to wearing it.
What Does a Made-to-Order Night Guard Cost?
Our patient’s cost varies depending on the materials used to make the night guard and its specifications. Once you meet with one of our experienced dentists, he or she can give you a quote for your customized appliance. Check your dental insurance policy; it may fully or partially cover the cost. Remember, a night guard is an investment in protecting your teeth and any restorations, like crowns and veneers, you have. If you aren’t able to cover the cost, contact us for available payment plans or to see if we have promotions going on. We may also accept dental discount plans, but call our office to confirm.
If you’re under stress and experiencing bruxism symptoms, like a cracked tooth, please call our office. One of our dentists can repair the damage and fit you with a custom-made night guard to prevent more damage. Our dentists also look for problems, like a misaligned bite, that can cause bruxism.