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Some adults unconsciously grind their teeth at night due to untreated chronic stress. Sometimes it can also be linked to a potential respiratory allergy, or a chronic ear infection. This condition, which is known as bruxism, can pose multiple short term and long term complications.

In the course of a single night, the excessive tension from clenching and grinding your teeth can cause chips and dental fractures to the biting surfaces of a tooth. This can also weaken or compromise existing dental fillings or other dental work.

With the damaged tooth enamel isn’t repaired in a reasonable amount of time it could start to accumulate bacterial deposits. In time it could even cause severe cavities to develop deep in the already distressed tooth.

It’s also worth noting that the muscular tension and latent inflammation in your temporomandibular joints can lead to early symptoms of TMJ disorder. Over time this can have a significant impact on your oral function and quality of life.

One way to prevent these problems is to sleep at night with a dental guard in your mouth. It is a soft plastic mouthpiece that cushions the biting surfaces of your teeth. It also allows a slight amount of slip between both sets of teeth to reduce the overall tension applied to your jaw muscles and joints.

Some people complain that the dental guards sold in stores feel loose or uncomfortable, and cause excess salivation. If you feel this way, you might want to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist like Dr. Scott Healey.

In many of these cases he can fit you for a custom dental guard. This is a soft plastic mouthpiece that he can custom fit to match the unique shape of your mouth for maximum comfort. If you live in the Lindon, Utah, area and you grind your teeth at night on a regular basis, you should call 801.653.0099 to set up a dental guard consult at Scott M. Healey Dentistry.