Here are some tell-tale signs that you clench or grind your teeth.
- You wake up in the morning with a headache
- Your jaw or facial muscles are sore when you wake up
- Abfractions (notches on the side of your teeth close to the gumline)
- Your partner hears you grinding your teeth
- Your opening is limited and notice that it is hard to open your mouth.
- Wear patterns are noticeably flat on the occlusal (top) surfaces of your teeth.
If you noticed one or more of these signs then you may be in need of a bruxism appliance. Although the causes of clenching and grinding are unknown there are some study’s that link with these factors, such as: stress, anxiety, alcohol consumption, fatigue, smoking, caffeine, and sleep apnea.
What is a Bruxism appliance? Also known as a night guard. It is usually made of a clear plastic material that is worn at night on either the top arch or bottom arch of your mouth. It helps relieve pressure on the facial muscles, jaw joints (TMJ) as well as protecting your teeth from wear.
Be sure to talk to your dental professionals if you are still unsure if you are clenching of grinding at night.