Grinding and/or clenching your teeth is called bruxism and usually happens at night during early sleep. Many people are unaware of this destructive habit. The cause or etiology of grinding your teeth can be difficult to determine. However, the damage caused can often be controlled by wearing a custom made night guard or occlusal appliance. Here are some of the things that wearing such an appliance can improve:
1- Chronic grinding of teeth often leads to tension type headaches, especially in the morning.
2- Excessive grinding and clenching can hurt your teeth and in some cases cause irreversible damage such as infections and/or bone loss.
3- Bruxism can also damage existing restorations(fillings, onlays or crowns) and prosthetics(fixed bridges and removable dentures).
4- Another reason is prematurely worn down teeth. Over time the valuable enamel covering of your teeth can be worn away.
5- In some rare cases bruxism can cause earaches by putting excessive pressure on you inner ear which is located adjacent to the jaw joint.
6- Teeth grinding or clenching may be loud enough to awaken or disturb your sleep partner.
7- Chronic grinding can also cause soft tissue damage such as chewing on the inside of your cheeks or borders of the tongue.
8- Generalized chronic facial pain.
In conclusion a simple treatment such as a professionally made custom night guard can eliminate many unwanted symptoms and problems and improve your quality of life.