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Every day your teeth come under tremendous stress whenever you bite or chew, so it’s quite amazing to think they are designed to last for life. However, an oral health problem such as teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism) can seriously affect the strength and structure of your teeth. What’s worse, is that often bruxism is unconscious, and it tends to be a nocturnal habit.
How Does Bruxism Affect Teeth?
People who have bruxism are more likely to experience cracked, painful and sensitive teeth, and over time these teeth can become excessively worn and will even feel loose. It may also affect the jaw joints, and you may wake up with an aching jaw, facial pain or a chronic headache. Because teeth grinding tends to occur at night, it’s usually only noticed by your dentist, unless of course, your sleeping partner complains as bruxism can be quite noisy!
How Is It Treated?
There are several ways to treat bruxism successfully. Our dentist can fabricate a custom-made night splint that will prevent your teeth from contacting while you sleep peacefully. Bruxism can often be related to stress so it could be helpful to try to reduce your stress levels. Avoid drinks containing caffeine just before bedtime, and if you chew fingernails, pens or pencils, try your best to quit this oral habit.
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