Your body stays surprisingly busy as you sleep; countless biological processes occur to heal, rejuvenate, and support your health during your slumber. Unfortunately, this nighttime activity sometimes extends to the mouth, where the teeth grind and clench together all night. This condition is known as bruxism, and it is a damaging habit that could be secretly ruining your smile. You may not realize that your teeth are vulnerable to mashing, clenching, and gnashing while you sleep, but learning to recognize the symptoms and seek dental attention will help you protect your mouth.

What Are the Signs of Bruxism?

This dental condition is most easily identified by the symptoms that grinding causes, like flattened and fractured teeth, worn enamel, increased tooth sensitivity, jaw and facial pain, recurring dull headaches, indentations on the tongue, and the sensation of an earache that does not actually originate in the ear. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to find a dentist like Dr. Kulangara at Advanced Dental Arts who can prescribe long-lasting solutions that will save your teeth from further damage.

How Can You Alleviate Bruxism and Protect Your Teeth?

Though the problems caused by bruxism are concerning, there are effective and reliable solutions available to protect your teeth, jaw, and facial muscles from sustaining long term damage.

An occlusal guard is a horseshoe-shaped piece of plastic that provides a soft barrier between your teeth and prevents additional damage. It protects against future jaw joint pain, worn teeth surfaces, headaches, and general discomfort. By continually wearing the occlusal guard that Dr. Kulangara prescribes, you can help your jaw relax overnight and minimize the grinding and clenching that takes place.

When you call (813) 534-4425 to make an appointment at Advanced Dental Arts, Dr. Kulangara will evaluate your teeth to determine which type of occlusal guard will best serve your needs. Once she prescribes an upper guard or lower guard, an impression will be made of your teeth and used to create the customized occlusal guard that you should use each night to resolve your bruxism.