Stress in our daily lives can translate into stress on our teeth through clenching and grinding (bruxing) habits. How can you tell if you are clenching or grinding your teeth?
Common signs and symptoms of clenching and grinding:
- Jaw soreness or tightness
- Waking up in the morning with a headache
- Edges of teeth appear flat and worn
- Your partner tells you that they can hear your grinding while you sleep
Night guards are worn while you sleep to reduce the stress and wear on your teeth. They are preventative appliances that can eliminate the heavy unconscious tooth-on-tooth forces experienced during the night. There are many options for patients including choice of upper or lower jaw appliances. In some cases, even if you are not aware of signs or symptoms your dentist will be able to diagnose signs of progressive wear and will suggest a night guard to prevent the development of additional signs and symptoms (like jaw soreness and headaches).