Grinding or clenching of teeth is referred to as bruxism and if it happens at night, it is called sleep bruxism. Many people don't know they grind teeth while asleep and even when asked by a doctor, they would say they don't clench or grind teeth.
Of course, you won't know that you grind teeth because it happens when you're sleeping. It occurs subconsciously and unless you are experiencing the signs and symptoms, you may not know. So, what do you do if you are experiencing sleep bruxism?
Look for Signs of Grinding Teeth
Even if you may not know you grind teeth while sleeping, there are telltale signs that may indicate you are doing so. They include worn, flat teeth, or jaw clicking and jaw pain. It's important that you check your teeth often to see if there are signs of damages.
Be Screened for Teeth Grinding
You want to be examined to determine if you grind teeth. The airway may need to be checked. A sleep study may be needed to help diagnose you for sleep apnea.
An oral appliance that helps to keep the airway open while asleep may be recommended and it works great if used along with a CPAP machine.
The new way to treat teeth grinding is to deal with the sources, and not the symptoms. It's likely that if you grind teeth, you have been told to use a mouthguard to help in protecting your teeth, however, that's an old practice of treatment.
The new understanding about teeth grinding and treatment indicates that you should deal with the root cause that may be causing you to grind teeth. The most common cause is an obstruction of the airway.
The reason you are grinding is to try to open the collapsed airway while asleep. Once the need to grind is removed, your teeth grinding then stops. Don't let teeth grinding ruin your oral health. When you come to us, we can work together to identify the best cause of treatment to stop your teeth grinding.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (714) 409-6161 today.