As a Waipahu and Mililani family dentist, it is common for Dr. Palola to see patients who show signs of teeth grinding or bruxism as it’s also called. While most people grind or clench their teeth briefly when annoyed or under stress, this level of teeth-grinding is typically nothing to worry about. But for those people who grind their teeth far more frequently and often without even realizing it such as when they’re asleep, it can be a serious problem.
There are two main types of bruxism: sleep bruxism and awake bruxism. Sleep bruxism is also called nocturnal bruxism and it can occur due to a side effect of snoring and sleep apnea. Awake bruxism or diurnal bruxism can occur as a side effect of stress.
The Consequences of Bruxism
Over time, the accumulated toll of bruxism can lead to some serious consequences including:
- Frequent headaches and aching jaws due to the overuse of muscles
- Hypertrophy of the jaw muscles
- Shifting or loose teeth due to the rocking effect of teeth grinding
- Flattened chewing surfaces of the teeth
- Exposed dentin & increased tooth sensitivity
- Chipped, cracked or split teeth
- Tooth loss
How Your Mililani Family Dentist Can Help
While there is no cure for bruxism, the condition can be managed through treatment. If you suspect that you clench or grind your teeth, we encourage you to set up a visit with our Waipahu dentist. Dr. Palola can evaluate the extent of wear and tear on your teeth, gums, and jaw, and provide you with a remedy to offset further damage.
The Custom Fit Mouthguard Remedy
If Dr. Palola determines that you do have bruxism, she can provide you with a custom-fit mouthguard that’s fabricated at a dental lab just for you. Instead of being made of a soft material that can be chewed away like what over-the-counter mouthguards are made of, custom-fit mouthguards designed for bruxism are made of a hardened acrylic material.
This type of mouthguard, which is called an occlusal guard or a bite splint, will fit snugly over your teeth, to give your jaws a rest, while protecting your teeth. Your mouthguard will be comfortable to wear and hardly visible as it’s made of a clear material. These mouthguards are a great solution for people who grind their teeth in their sleep. We can also help you if you need a mouthguard for daytime use.
Contact Your Mililani and Waipahu Dentist Today!
If you suspect that you grind your teeth (or have been told you do), don’t wait to seek help! Letting your bruxism go untreated can result in damage to your teeth and jaws. Just schedule an appointment with Dr. Palola today by calling our office at (808) 678-3000. We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you with your teeth grinding habit!