Grinding your teeth, known in medical terms as bruxism, can be a lot more than just an annoying habit; rather, it can lead to permanent damage to your teeth and gums. Bruxism can also have far reaching effects on your overall health including headache pain, sleep disruption, vertigo and laryngitis which is why it is so important to seek treatment right away once you’ve determined you are a teeth grinder.
It’s estimated that bruxism affects nearly 1in 5 adults in the US, alone. More often than not, bruxism occurs during sleep so you may not even realize you’re doing it unless your partner hears the grinding and lets you know. What’s also alarming is that teeth grinding can occur for as long as 40 minutes for every hour of sleep, and with the exerted force of as much as 250 pounds. To put this into context, pressure this strong can crack a walnut! By contrast, chewing food is the equivalent of approximately 175 pounds of force, and when you are eating there is food in the mouth to help absorb the impact and rubbing tooth against tooth.
Chronic clenching and its excessive force can lead to serious dental issues like worn tooth enamel exposing the dentin, lost contours where teeth have a flattened appearance, loose teeth, or worse yet, tooth loss. Depending on the severity of the damage, it may require tooth restoration, or even, tooth removal. In any case, dental work is rarely enjoyable or inexpensive.
But damage may not just be limited to inside your mouth, this extreme force can lead to temporomandibular joint pain. (TMJ). The temporomandibular joints are flexible joints found on each side of your head in front of the ear. Responsible for all jaw movements including eating and talking, they are the most active joints in your body and thus endure a lot of wear and tear. They connect the lower jaw to the temporal bone of the skull. Excessive clenching and grinding puts pressure on these joints and as a result can cause far reaching pain in your temples, behind the eyes, in the back of your neck and through your cheeks and ears.
The exact cause of bruxism is not known but it is widely believed that stress is a primary trigger and once the stressful event has passed, the clenching and grinding usually subsides. However, the amount of damage that can be done within a brief period of time can be significant, not to mention extremely painful.
While there is no medication currently available to treat bruxism, dental experts agree the single most effective treatment is to wear a dental grind guard while sleeping. Dental grind guards unfortunately cannot reverse past damage but are effective in helping to prevent future damage and consequences. Dental grind guards are removable and generally worn only when needed (i.e., at night or while sleeping).
There are many dental grind guards on the market, however custom-fit products by dentists are expensive may require multiple visits. Many off-the-shelf grind guards may not fit properly, can be easily chewed through, or their material composition may be simply uncomfortable to wear.
Ora-GUARD® dental grind guard has quickly established itself as different from the rest with a revolutionary design that combines a soft, medical grade fit material to cushion the jaws during clenching, coupled with a patented bite plate wedge design specially constructed to slide the lower jaw down and forward, releasing tension on the TMJ muscle, while preventing tooth damage.
FDA cleared, Ora-GUARD® fits securely in the mouth and is comfortable to wear, allowing for natural breathing while sleeping. An easy, individualized custom-like fit is achieved at home with a simple 60 second microwave or a boil and bite fitting process. Ora-GUARD® dental grind guard provides an immediate, over-the-counter solution that protects the teeth and minimize the painful effects of teeth grinding. Available online at Amazon, Target.com, Walmart.com, and Ora-GUARD.com as well as at key retailers throughout North America including CVS and Walgreens. Ora-GUARD ® Is backed by a 6-month, 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.