Stress does a real number on our bodies, and our teeth are no exception. Many people respond to high stress levels by clenching or grinding their teeth. If that sounds familiar, you may be struggling with bruxism. This unconscious habit can lead to some serious dental issues if left untreated. At our practice, we see those effects first-hand. That’s why we wanted to discuss the impact of teeth grinding and how a custom bite guard can protect your teeth. 

Signs of Teeth Grinding

You may not even realize you are grinding your teeth. It’s often a habit you don’t realize and most commonly done during sleep. We typically hear patients complaining about sensitive or sore teeth. You may also have jaw pain, headaches, or painful chewing. During an exam, we might spot enamel that is worn down, or cracked or chipped teeth, as a result of grinding or clenching motions. If this habit continues, it can lead to more serious dental consequences.

The Solution to Your Teeth Grinding Habit

The good news is that a simple mouthguard can protect against the grinding and clenching motions that lead to these issues. A custom-fit nightguard is one of the best options. You’ll wear it while you sleep to shield your teeth from harm. It will:

  • FIt Perfectly –  A customized mouthguard is designed specifically for your unique dental structure. This precise fit ensures maximum comfort and effectiveness in preventing teeth grinding.
  • Be Comfortable to Wear – Unlike store-bought mouthguards, a customized one feels comfortable and won’t disrupt your sleep. This comfort translates into better compliance, as users are more likely to wear the mouthguard consistently. 
  • Reduce Dental Damage –: The primary purpose of a mouthguard is to act as a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth, preventing the abrasive effects of grinding. A custom fit ensures optimal coverage and protection. 
  • Include Expert Guidance – We’ll assess the extent of your bruxism and tailor the mouthguard accordingly. This personalized approach addresses your unique needs and contributes to more effective treatment.

However, addressing the root cause of stress is ideal. But wearing a comfortable mouthguard each night can go a long way towards saving your smile. If you suspect you may be grinding due to stress or other factors, make an appointment to find out if a custom nightguard will help. We’ll get one made using digital scans of your teeth that we send to an outside lab. Then, you’ll come by and pick it up and start wearing it while you sleep.

Also, if stress is the primary cause of your teeth-grinding habits, watch out for other ways it can impact dental health. You may notice you are skipping necessary dental appointments, not brushing or flossing as much, or eating unhealthy foods. Seek out ways to manage your better, so you can keep your smile healthy throughout every stage of your life. Talk to a friend, practice deep breathing sessions, and incorporate a daily routine. Those are simple and effective ways to reduce the impact of stress on your life.

Call 253-999-9419 or schedule online to visit Smith & Wetterhus Dentistry in Puyallup, WA.