Are You Grinding Your Teeth While You Sleep?

August 23, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Are You Grinding Your Teeth While You Sleep?

No matter how diligently you care for your teeth during the day, you might be harming your teeth overnight. Are You Grinding Your Teeth While You Sleep? Many people experience teeth grinding and jaw clenching, while they sleep or in stressful situations.

Over time, these actions can wear on your mouth and cause permanent damage if they are not addressed.

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Causes and Symptoms of Grinding Your Teeth

The most common reasons for teeth grinding and jaw clenching are stress and anxiety. This can occur during the day or while you are sleeping. Even if you are wide awake, you might not even realize that you are doing it.

Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is one of many ways that our body physically manifests stress even if our minds aren’t aware of it. The next time you are in a high-stress situation, pay attention to what’s happening in your mouth. Are you clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth around?

Other risk factors for teeth grinding include substance abuse (drugs, alcohol, caffeine), sleep apnea, and bite and alignment issues.

You might notice that your teeth begin to wear down in odd patterns over time. These changes might not be obvious at first since many people grind their molars and back teeth that are not always very visible.

Long-term jaw clenching can lead to earaches and headaches. You might think that you have an ear infection or a migraine, but the cause is actually the jaw because of how closely it’s related to the other parts of your face.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Teeth Grinding

No matter how diligently you care for your teeth during the day, you might be harming your teeth overnight. Are You Grinding Your Teeth While You Sleep?The best way to confirm whether or not you are grinding your teeth, is to mention your symptoms to your dentist at your next appointment. Your dentist can review the wear patterns on your teeth and examine your jaw to determine whether you’ve been grinding or clenching without realizing it.

From there, your dentist will likely prescribe a mouth guard, which will prevent your teeth from touching while you sleep and give you something to bite into if you clench your jaw. It won’t take long before you are waking up pain-free and more refreshed as a result of better sleep.

The mouth guard will probably take some getting used to, but it’s important that you stick with it and continue wearing it. Your mouth will adjust over time and you’ll soon be wondering how you ever slept without one.

How to Get the Help You Need

If you’ve been waking up with an unusual feeling in your mouth or jaw, you might be suffering from bruxism.

Our team at Sampson Dentistry will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan based on your specific symptoms and lifestyle

Do I Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?

July 13, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Do I Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?

If you’ve lost a tooth, especially one that’s not visible to others when you speak or smile, you may be thinking that you can slide by without replacing it. Sure, it will feel weird for a while, but you’ll get used it — or will you? Do I Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?

Not replacing a missing tooth can have serious physical and mental consequences. The replacement process is not as difficult as you might think and will pay off in the long run.

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Consequences of Not Replacing a Missing Tooth

Having a missing tooth can lead to long-term problems inside and outside your mouth.

Over time, the teeth next to the missing tooth will shift toward each other in an attempt to fill in the gap. This leads to a condition called malocclusion, which means the teeth are not aligned properly.

Malocclusion can cause serious problems like an overbite or crossbite that result in extra strain on the jaw, difficulty chewing, and even an increased risk for tooth decay. The treatment for this larger issue is braces or even surgery, which will likely end up being more expensive than a single tooth replacement would be.

The increase in tooth decay will also lead to problems with other teeth.

Missing teeth can result in not chewing your food properly (consciously or unconsciously). Not chewing your food properly can lead to digestive issues like acid reflux and malnutrition from nutrients not being absorbed properly in the digestive tract. While it may seem like a back molar hidden from view that does not need to be replaced, remember that those teeth are essential for proper chewing and digestion.

Missing teeth can also cause bone loss along the jawline, which leads to a sagging appearance around the mouth. The bone tissue no longer receives support from the tooth, so it weakens over time. Sagging faces are common among people who wear dentures. While it may be inevitable for some, you can do something about it before the sagging begins.

Restoring Your Smile

Replacing a missing tooth is no longer the ordeal it was in your parents’ generation.

The most common treatment is a dental implant. Implants consist of a titanium post covered by a crown or denture.

The dental implant process typically takes about three months from start to finish. The implant and temporary crown can be applied on the same day, allowing you to return to normal activities while the permanent crown is made.

The end result is a tooth that looks and feels just like the one you lost. Financing options are available to ensure that you can restore a broken smile without breaking the bank.

A dental implant is a smart investment of time and money. Given the serious consequences associated with not replacing a missing tooth. Consult with your local dentist!