happy woman waking up after a good night's rest

If you wake up with sore jaws in the morning, it’s very possible that you’re grinding your teeth at night. While most people who grind their teeth are unaware that they’re doing it, there are a few ways to find out if you do, as well as, prevent it from damaging your teeth. Let’s take a look at what your teeth have to do with sore jaws and solutions to the problem.

Do You Grind Your Teeth?

If you grind your teeth, you may have an idea that you’re doing it or you may not. While the action of grinding your teeth at night is involuntary, the symptoms may cause you to wake up feeling tired, painful, and worried. 

Here are a few different ways you can confirm if you grind your teeth or not:

  • Ask a friend – If you have a significant other, sibling, or roommate you share a room with, you can ask them to monitor you and let you know if you have been grinding your teeth.
man snoring in bed with frustrated woman
  • Observe yourself – Most people who grind their teeth wake up with teeth grinding headaches and sore jaws in the morning.
  • Flattened teeth – Over time, grinding your teeth can lead to flattened cusps on your canines, followed by flat rear teeth with pits. These pits can trap small seeds or other food in the mouth.
  • Chipped teeth – Grinding teeth at night can lead to chipped teeth, especially chipped front teeth.
  • Tooth sensitivity – Teeth grinding can also lead to tooth sensitivity, which is especially noticeable when no other cavities or causes are present.
  • Worn out retainers – If you wear retainers during bedtime and you notice scratches on them, this may be a result of teeth grinding.

Common Causes

Let’s take a look at a few of the most common causes for grinding teeth at night:

  • Stress – If you’re going through a major change in life or operating on burnt fumes, this may be the cause of your teeth grinding and teeth grinding headaches. As much as possible, try to completely relax and unwind before bed. Take a bubble bath, read a book, meditate, pray, or do whatever you need to release the tensions of the day. Try not to think about the potential stress of tomorrow. Focus on releasing the current stress of today and giving your body, mind, and soul a chance to refuel and recharge. 
  • Daytime clenching – Sometimes clenching your teeth and jaw during the day can also mean that you grind your teeth at night. 
  • Poor quality sleep – Sleeping should be restful and rejuvenating. If you suffer from poor quality sleep and severe snoring, you may grind your teeth. In the case of daytime clenching, snoring, and sleep that is not restful, you may be suffering from a bigger issue like sleep apnea. 

Solutions

There is no need to continue to suffer from teeth grinding headaches and other uncomfortable symptoms of grinding teeth at night, there are solutions. Let’s take a look at some of the tips you can try to resolve the problem:

  • Lowering stress levels – We know lowering stress levels may be easier said than done. However, if you take just a few small steps a day, it will eventually add up. You can try lowering stress levels by going to bed at a decent time, eating nutritious foods, and knowing when it’s time to check out from the world. Another great way to reduce your stress level is to set healthy boundaries and know when it’s time to disengage yourself from work, conversations, or anything that may be considered exhausting. Always put your health and wellness first.
happy woman waking up after a good night's rest
  • Warm compress – Grinding teeth at night and teeth grinding headaches directly affect the jaw. Place a soothing warm compress on your jaw to relax your muscles before bed.
  • Muscle relaxers – Using muscle relaxers can help you to get relief from teeth grinding. However, it is important to note that using muscle relaxers is a temporary fix, not a permanent one.
  • Custom nightguard – Visit your dentist to get fitted for a custom nightguard. While over-the-counter nightguards are not effective in preventing long-term damage, they may help you get used to sleeping with a nightguard. However, a custom nightguard is always best. Your dentist will ensure your nightguard is the perfect fit for long-term use and will safely help you to cope with grinding teeth at night. 

Give us a call to book your appointment and get fitted for your custom nightguard today!

dentist explaining x-ray results to a patient during a visit

Is dental insurance worth it? More often than not, it honestly isn’t. While dental insurance may assist you with a few things here and there, it usually does not cover all of the treatment you may actually need. Let’s dive right in and take a look at the truth about insurance coverage for dental procedures and other alternatives that may be more beneficial to you and your family. 

The Honest Truth

This may sound crazy, but your dental insurance wants you to lose your teeth. You may have noticed that after having a necessary visit with a dental clinic, you’re left with a hefty balance to pay out of pocket. This isn’t by coincidence and it honestly does not have anything to do with the dentist you choose. You’re often left with a balance after visiting the dentist because the coverage with insurance simply is not extensive enough for your needs. 

patient holding a mirror while receiving dental cleaning

When it comes to dental insurance, many patients are often left making an unfair compromise. Insurance can be looked at as more of a discount plan, not actual insurance. You’ll have a co-pay until you max out your dental benefits and then eventually, you won’t have coverage at all. 

Dental insurance really hasn’t changed since the 80s. While medical insurance has maximums for out-of-pocket payments, the amount of out-of-pocket payments for dental can range from $1-$2000. If you’ve had dental work done before, especially emergency dental work, you can testify that this kind of coverage really doesn’t get you far. 

Insurance often downgrades the needs of your oral health. Often only covering silver fillings or metal crowns which are not typically used anymore and having you pay the difference. At Definitive Dental, we know how frustrating all of this can be.

dentist explaining x-ray results to a patient during a visit

Teeth are often referred to as luxury bones and that’s simply not true. Your teeth and oral health are important to your overall health, happiness, and comfort. There’s no need to suffer or go without the treatment you need because of the lack of affordability and restrictive dental insurance. When it comes to dental emergencies and maintenance, having treatment on time makes all the difference. 

A Better Alternative

At Definitive Dental, we offer an affordable alternative to dental insurance that will actually give you the coverage you need. Our in-house dental membership plan is available to both children and adults. We want our patients to have happy and healthy smiles, which means, our patients need accessibility to regular cleanings and emergency procedures when necessary. Dental emergencies will never become cheaper or less painful, unfortunately, they will always become worse. 

Our in-house dental membership plan can be used in place of dental insurance, or alongside it if you choose. For only $348 a year or $29 a month ($25 a month for children), you’ll get;

  • Two cleanings per year
  • X-Rays and exams
  • An extra exam for emergencies 
  • 15% off all dental work

For patients that require four cleanings a year, the total cost is $45 a month. And best of all, there is no maximum benefit. You can receive the dental treatment you need without worrying about restrictive dental insurance and hefty out-of-pocket balances. 

We created our affordable and effective in-house dental membership plan because we are passionate about what we do. As seasoned experts in the industry, we deeply understand how important it is for dental maintenance and emergency procedures to be completed in a timely manner. From our dentists to our team members, we all have one goal, maintaining and restoring the oral health of our patients.

Conclusion

Teeth are not luxury bones, they are necessary bones. Healthy teeth help us to properly chew and digest delicious foods, speak clearly, and they also give our face shape. No matter how your dental insurance makes it out to be, there’s nothing luxury or optional about that, it’s essential. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits will help you to maintain good oral health and deal with any uprising issues, as quickly as possible. Having healthy teeth can prevent issues like:

  • Tooth decay and loss
  • Bad breath
  • Gum disease and bone loss
  • Strokes
  • Higher chance of oral cancer
  • Worsening of diabetes
  • Heart and respiratory disease
  • Low self-esteem and shattered confidence 

How can poor oral health lead to the above issues? The digestive process begins at our mouth. With healthy and strong teeth, the system works well and can perform its intended function. If your teeth are in poor health, it affects more than just your smile, it affects their optimum functionality. Give us a call today to book a visit and learn more about our in-house dental membership plan.

young boy smiling and giving a thumbs up in dental office

Finding a dentist that’s right for you is a huge step. Your oral health, comfort, and happiness depend on it. Choosing a dentist that’s the perfect fit for you will prevent you from dreading and avoiding necessary visits.

Regular dental visits are essential for both children and adults, there’s no need to neglect your dental health because you’re not sure which dentist you should visit. Let’s take a look at our top three tips for finding the best dentist for you and your needs. 

Social Proof

dentist explaining x-ray results to patient in exam room

A great dentist will have positive social proof readily available for new clients. Aside from having close friends and family visit the same dentist’s office, it’s very reassuring to see favorable reviews from others, as well. Take time to read reviews about dentists you may be interested in to learn what others may have experienced. 

When it comes to finding a dentist, you want to ensure that many of the reviews include being comfortable. While receiving routine or extensive dental procedures, you should not have to suffer from pain. 

During your procedure, you should be comfortable and informed about what is taking place. A good dentist will not make you feel like you’re being dramatic if you express extreme discomfort or pain. A good dentist will do everything in their power to ensure you’re relaxed, comfortable, and ready before, during, and after your procedure. 

If you’re not pleased with the work you received, the right dentist will continue the work until you are satisfied. The mission of a good dentist is to go above and beyond to exceed your expectations.

Training and Technology

Choose a dentist who prioritizes training and technology. As times change, newer equipment and technology become available to the dental industry. Find a dentist who keeps up with dental technology and practices. This kind of dentist will make sure they always deliver the best products and services to their clients. 
All machines and equipment should be clean and up-to-date, and all staff members should have proper and current training. Newer and better ways to perform dental procedures are readily available to all dentists. Choose a dentist who makes it a priority to study and practice modern techniques for the safety and comfort of all of their patients.

young boy smiling and giving a thumbs up in dental office

A team that is developed both personally and professionally will give clients a world-changing experience from the first call, all the way up to the follow-up call made after the dental procedure has taken place. Alongside finding a dentist with a personable and professional team, aim to select a dental office that uses digital technology, at a minimum. Some offices will go above and beyond and offer digital impressions and x-ray machines that are typically only found at specialists. When you select a dental office that takes their practice and investment seriously, you can rest assured, you’ve found a good thing. 

Office Environment and Culture

Have you ever walked into a dental office and felt like you’ve just entered an ice-cold box in the middle of nowhere? That feeling shouldn’t exist. A cold, lifeless dental office creates an anxious unwelcoming feeling that can be discouraging.

The right dentist’s office for you will be warm, welcoming, and inviting. You should be greeted by friendly team members who are excited and eager to assist you. The space should be immaculately clean and you should not feel an intense urge to spin around and walk right back out the door. Whether you’re heading in for a routine cleaning or a restorative procedure, you should feel right at home when you find a dentist that works best for you.

The dentist should always be comfortable but especially for those who have fear or anxiety when it comes to dental visits. One bad experience can scar an individual for a very long time. Avoid developing a negative connection with the dentist by choosing a dentist with an impressionable environment and friendly culture. 

Conclusion

Find a dentist office that has social proof, advanced training and technology, and a warm office environment and culture. With a dentist’s office that excels in these three areas, you surely won’t have any regrets. When making your choice, always be sure to put your comfort and safety first. 

A good dentist will be patient, kind, and helpful. Do not hesitate to ask your dentist or their team members any questions you may need clarification on. The right dentist will be more than happy to assist you with anything you need. For more information about our services here at DRG Dentistry, you can visit our website here. We proudly service the Grand Prairie area and are happy to help you with all of your dental needs!

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