Helpful Tips for Stopping Nighttime Clenching
People who clench or grind their teeth at night will often find that it is impossible to stop this habit on their own, given that they are asleep when the grinding is taking place. Although the clenching and grinding itself generally occurs at night, the repercussions are visible at any time of the day, explain Fort Worth dentists Dr. Anita Paulus, DDS, and Dr. William Paulus, DDS, MS.
People who grind and clench their teeth at night can quickly begin to wear out the sides and the tops of their teeth. This causes the teeth to actually get smaller and smaller, as the enamel wears away over time.
In addition to changing the size of the teeth, the Fort Worth dentists say that constant grinding or clenching can affect different parts of the teeth. For some people, nighttime clenching will affect the portion of the teeth nearest to the gums. For other people, nighttime clenching will affect the cusps of the teeth, causing the tops of the teeth to wear out and flatten.
Men and women who have numerous dental crowns or fillings in their mouth need to be especially cautious, since clenching or grinding can cause those restorations to wear out very quickly. The Fort Worth dentists say that people who are concerned that their nighttime grinding habits may be damaging their existing fillings and crowns need to do something to protect those teeth right away.
For most people, the recommended treatment is a custom-made mouthguard. The mouthguards that Dr. Anita Paulus recommends relax the jaw and protect the teeth. Patients who wear their mouthguards on a regular basis will not only be protecting their teeth from further damage, but they may also be reducing stress on their jaws and eliminating some of the tension headaches they have been feeling during the day.
Additionally, wearing a mouthguard regularly helps patients by making them more conscious of what they are doing with their jaws and their teeth. The Fort Worth dentists say it is amazing how patients are able to change their grinding or clenching habits once they start wearing one of these appliances. The mouthguards that dentists make are very small, and most people have no trouble wearing them while they sleep.
Patients who grind their teeth at night generally find that it is very difficult to stop this habit because they are not doing it consciously. By linking up with a dentist and getting professional treatment, however, men and women can protect their teeth and cut down on the number of tension headaches they get each day.
Fort Worth, TX 76107
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.