People with nighttime grinding habits can wear down their tooth enamel ten times faster than others. Over time continued grinding (bruxism) and/or clenching can lead to badly worn down teeth with the enamel and dentin of your teeth being destroyed. Some signs of grinding and clenching are:
- Stiff jaw and face, especially during waking hours
- Jaw feeling tired in the morning
- Headaches especially first thing in the morning
- Difficulty opening your mouth wide
- Teeth become sensitive to cold drinks or foods with colder temperatures
- Sore, achy teeth
Treating bruxism and/or clenching can relieve head, neck, jaw joint and shoulder pains. Wearing a custom niteguard while sleeping is the most cost effective treatment for these conditions. Ignoring the condition and exposing teeth to continued grinding can lead to more extensive, invasive and expensive treatment such as crowns, bridges, implants, root canals, and dentures.