When you visit Martindale Family Dentistry in Griffin, Georgia, you can expect a compassionate and friendly experience. Dr. Mark Martindale and his team believe that each member is family and will go the extra mile to ensure you receive safe, effective, and comprehensive dental care. One service provided by Dr. Martindale is custom-made mouthguards. If you suffer from nighttime teeth grinding or jaw clenching, it could seriously impact your dental health. A custom nightguard is a comfortable oral appliance that you wear when you sleep, which minimizes the damage that could be caused by bruxism.
What is Bruxism?
While we all can find ourselves occasionally clenching or grinding our teeth when stressed, chronic grinding and clenching are classified as a condition called bruxism. Bruxism can result in discomfort of your jaw, cause chronic headaches or migraines, cause TMJ disorder, and even damage your teeth via cracks and fractures. While bruxism can be an issue that occurs throughout the day, it is more prevalent when asleep for many. This is where a custom-fit nightguard comes into play. Simply wear it at night to help protect your teeth and relax your jaw. While you may think that bruxism is not a big deal, there are specific dangers associated with this condition which we will now look at.
Dangers and Negative Side Effects of Untreated Bruxism
Frequent teeth grinding and clenching brought on by bruxism can lead to serious negative side effects, which result in damaged teeth, jaw, and overall oral health.
- Pain: The pressure you exert on your teeth with constant grinding and clenching takes a toll on the jaw joints and supporting muscles. Over time, you will begin to experience pain and stiffness in your jaw, pain in your facial area, and even earaches brought upon by this constant grinding and clenching.
- Jaw Disorders: Constant grinding and clenching will not only result in jaw and facial discomfort. This constant activity will also begin to affect the physical structure of your jaw joints and muscles, likely leading to temporomandibular joint disorders. Also called TMD, these disorders can result in severe pain in the jaw, face, and neck areas. Over time you could find that you have trouble talking, chewing, and swallowing.
- Damage to Teeth: The most common symptom dentists see in patients who suffer from bruxism is physical damage to teeth. It is the leading side effect of constant grinding and clenching. The surfaces of your teeth will wear down, leading to tooth material loss and increased sensitivity. Eventually, the continuous pressure this activity exerts on your teeth will result in them cracking, chipping, or fracturing. Existing dental work, including fillings, crowns, and bridges, can also become damaged.
- Gum Recession: When you think of gum recession, you likely will contribute this condition to gum disease. While gum disease is why your gums could be receding, your bruxism could also be a cause. When you are constantly grinding and clenching your teeth, it can cause your teeth to shift and loosen. When this happens, pockets are created where bacteria can easily gain access and cause your gums to begin to recede from your teeth.
- Chronic Headaches: If you start your day with a painful headache, it is likely due to the grinding and tension you exert on your teeth and jaws each night as you sleep.
Save Yourself the Headache with a Custom Nightguard
A custom-made nightguard is the answer if you are ready to rid yourself of the painful symptoms brought on by nighttime teeth clenching and grinding. Dr. Martindale and the team at Martindale Family Dentistry would love to sit down with you and discuss the benefits of wearing a nightguard to ease the impact of your bruxism. You only need to wear the nightguard while you sleep. When you wake up each morning feeling better than you have in a long time, you can take it out. Benefits of wearing a custom-fit nightguard include:
- Protecting your teeth from the constant wear and tear brought upon by your bruxism
- Decreased risk of receding gums
- Reduced soreness in your jaw, teeth, and face
- Reduced risk of morning headaches, earaches, and toothaches
If you are ready to visit Dr. Mark Martindale in Griffin, Georgia, please schedule an appointment today by calling 770-637-5876.
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