If you regularly wake up in the morning with facial stiffness, jaw pain and wear-and-tear on your teeth, there is a wider problem to this that needs addressing. It is likely that you’re experiencing teeth grinding. Teeth grinding is formally known as Bruxism and is a condition where the upper and lower teeth clench and grind together during sleep. This can lead to damage to your enamel and cause cavity signs to form.
There could be many reasons why you suffer from teeth grinding, but one thing you must know is that it can become a serious problem if it’s not halted.
The causes of teeth grinding are not exactly clear, but it is usually linked to factors such as:
- Stress and anxiety
- Sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea
- Lifestyle factors including consumption of alcohol and caffeine and smoking tobacco
Why Do Teeth Grind?
Teeth grinding has many unwanted side effects that can be felt throughout the day. One of the key side effects is pain and stiffness within the temporomandibular joint, also known as TMJ disorder. When your bite is misaligned, the biting surfaces are under pressure, and the teeth do not fit together appropriately, which irritates the TMJ. TMJ is directly linked to the movement of the jaw. This condition can disrupt your sleep and promote teeth grinding.
Luckily, there are solutions that help to halt teeth grinding and reduce the pressure on the temporomandibular joint. One of the solutions is wearing clear aligners, also known as Invisalign.
Invisalign is usually seen as a cosmetic treatment that straightens your teeth, realigns your bite and transforms your aesthetic appearance, but did you know Invisalign can also resolve teeth grinding?
A point to bear in mind is that your clear aligners can also be worn at night. Although, the plastic material has a higher chance of becoming damaged. Where teeth grinding may still persist, this can also damage your aligners. Seek dental advice on this matter.
Halting Teeth Grinding With Invisalign
One of the stopgap solutions to halt teeth grinding is to wear a dental mouthguard. Although in order to reduce teeth grinding entirely without the need for a mouthguard for the long term, Invisalign can relieve the symptoms of teeth grinding in the following ways:
- Correcting your bite permanently
- Reduce any jaw pain and stiffness
- Reduce any stress in the facial muscles
- Align the upper and lower teeth in its correct position
When your bite and teeth are aligned appropriately, the TMJ is no longer under stress. The stress that you feel on the jaw will also disappear and teeth grinding will potentially be alleviated permanently.
Will Invisalign Work?
Yes, Invisalign works for teeth grinding. Although, clear aligners are not an appliance that can be worn when you feel like it. It is recommended that the aligners are worn for at least 20 to 22 hours in the day. Therefore, they should also be worn at night. If you’re currently wearing a dental mouthguard as a temporary measure to halt teeth grinding, consult your dentist on what will work best for you. Ideally, it is recommended that you wear clear aligners to align your bite and teeth accordingly. This will significantly reduce teeth grinding and will not require the use of a dental mouthguard in the future.
Are you concerned that you grind your teeth grind at night? Contact us at Integrated Smiles today and let us look after your teeth and smile.