Bruxism in Park Slope, NY
Nightguards for Teeth Protection
Simon says touch your nose. Simon says touch your knees. Simon says touch your temporomandibular joints. Gotcha, right? Unless you have experienced the pain of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMD, then chances are you don’t know where these joints are. Actually, they are pretty easy to find; they are located on either side of your head just in front of your ears. If you wiggle your lower jaw from side, you’ll be able to feel them working.
One of the leading causes of TMD is bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching. Truth be told, almost all of us grind and clench our teeth occasionally when we are feeling stressed or angry. Problems arise, however, when a person grinds his or her teeth regularly, usually at night during sleep. Because bruxism is essentially a habit, it can be quite difficult to break a habit that happens while you are essentially unconscious and probably unaware of what’s happening—although the person sleeping one pillow over may be well aware of your teeth grinding, because of the irritating sound.
Normally, enamel wears down at a rate of approximately .3 millimeters over the course of a single decade. For people who regularly grind and clench their teeth, that number increases to about two full millimeters over the course of only some 20 years. Moreover, when teeth grinding occurs at during sleep, it can last as long as 40 minutes out of every hour and produce up to 250 pounds of force per square inch!
Aside from TMD, teeth grinding and clenching can lead to other dental, oral and general health problems, including:
- Teeth that become so worn they are uneven in length
- Cracked teeth
- Broken fillings
- Worn teeth that become sensitive to hot and cold
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Head, neck and jaw pain
Nightguards Park Slope can Depend On
Dr. Sapienza offers bruxism therapy with comfortable oral appliances. At The Dental Spa of New York, we can custom-make a nightguard to protect your teeth from nighttime grinding. Also called a bite plate, your nightguard will be custom-fitted for you. Made of durable plastic, a nightguard is similar to the fender that surrounds your automobile and absorbs the force of impact. Your nightguard absorbs the force of teeth grinding and clenching, so your teeth do not bear the consequences of bruxism night after night. Although your nightguard can be worn during the day, too, most people find that their TMD and other symptoms are alleviated just by wearing the device a night.
In addition to wearing a nightguard, there are other steps Dr. Sapienza may recommend to reduce stress. For example, psychotherapy, meditation, yoga, biofeedback and exercise can be very helpful.
If you suspect that you are experiencing teeth grinding, Park Slope, or if you know your bed partner has bruxism, then call The Dental Spa of New York. The dentist Park Slope trusts conveniently serves patients from the surrounding communities of Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Prospect Heights and Carroll Gardens and other areas of Brooklyn and Queens.