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Grinding Teeth With Invisalign Aligners: What Does It Mean and Can You Still Get Treatment?

Contributors:  

Is grinding teeth with Invisalign a problem or will Invisalign aligners stop you from grinding your teeth? Bruxism is quite common, and a lot of people that clench their jaw or grind their teeth aren't even aware they do it.

Grinding your teeth can cause uneven wear of your teeth, headaches and a sore jaw over time, but will it ruin your aligners, or stop you from getting Invisalign treatment?

grinding teeth with invisalign
Can you still have Invisalign treatment if you grind your teeth?

This article will answer the following questions and more to help give you a better understanding of how teeth grinding may affect your Invisalign treatment:

  • What is bruxism and what causes it?
  • How do you know if you grind your teeth?
  • Can you get Invisalign treatment if you grind your teeth?
  • Will you need to replace your aligners more often?

If you are interested in straightening your teeth with Invisalign aligners but you grind your teeth, you may still be eligible for treatment. Keep reading to learn more about how Invisalign teeth grinding may affect your treatment.

What is bruxism and what causes it?

You've probably heard the term bruxism, but do you know what it means? Bruxism is the medical word for grinding your teeth. It's a common problem that can lead to serious consequences, including tooth loss and jaw pain.

So what causes it? Well, there are a few different factors that can contribute to bruxism, including:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Mouth breathing during sleep
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Jaw misalignment
  • Clenching habits such as nail-biting or pen-chewing

How do you know if you grind your teeth?

It isn't always easy to tell if you grind your teeth or clench your jaw. That's because we are generally asleep when we do it, or it's become second nature and we don't even notice it!

invisalign grinding teeth
Many people grind their teeth in their sleep

You may be grinding your teeth if you:

  • Experience pain in your jaw and face
  • Notice that your mouth feels sore after sleeping
  • Hear a clicking sound when you open or close your mouth
  • Feel tired in the morning, especially after waking up from sleep
  • Have a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)

To diagnose bruxism, your dentist will look for signs of wear on your teeth and jawbone (the grinding can cause these surfaces to wear down), as well as soreness in your mouth or jaw.

Your dentist may even ask you to keep a journal of when you grind your teeth so they can see if there are any patterns or triggers for the behaviour.

In the following video, Dr Pratish Dholakia explains how you can tell if you grind your teeth:

Dr Pratish Dholakia, a dentist at Bupa UK, talks about what your teeth look like if you have been grinding your teeth.

Now that you know what bruxism is and how you can tell if you do it, let's move on to how this could affect getting Invisalign treatment.

Can you get Invisalign treatment if you grind your teeth?

Yes, you can get Invisalign treatment if you grind your teeth. In fact, we'd say that it's actually common for people who grind their teeth to get Invisalign! Grinding teeth is a serious problem that can lead to a lot of tooth wear and damage if left unchecked.

Will you need to replace your aligners more often?

So what does grinding teeth mean for your aligners? Luckily, not much! The only thing we would recommend is using the aligner trays that are designed specifically for people who grind their teeth (these will be more durable). Other than that, just follow the instructions as usual and don't worry about it!

If you're interested in getting Invisalign treatment, talk with your dentist about grinding habits and how they might affect your treatment plan.

Can Invisalign aligners cause you to grind your teeth?

invisalign teeth grinding
Speak to your Invisalign doctor if you have concerns about teeth grinding with Invisalign

Invisalign aligners are designed to move your teeth into their desired position. They are made of a plastic material that will not break or chip easily, which makes them ideal for moving teeth.

Some people may experience discomfort wearing the aligners because they are new to having something in their mouth all day long, but this should subside within about three weeks.

However, there are some cases of Invisalign teeth grinding. This is where, on very rare occasions, the aligners actually cause excessive teeth grinding. It can be caused by improper placement of the aligners or from an improper bite alignment.

If your dentist notices that you're grinding your teeth excessively, they will be able to adjust your treatment plan accordingly so that it doesn't become a problem again in the future.

Conclusion

It is possible to get Invisalign aligners if you grind your teeth. Of course, this will depend on your treatment eligibility. So, if you grind your teeth at night and are interested in getting Invisalign treatment then the best thing to do is make an appointment with an Invisalign provider. They will be able to assess your teeth and mouth to see if you're a candidate for treatment, and how your bruxism may affect that.

If you don't always display symptoms of bruxism, there is no reason to think that you will grind your teeth excessively as a result of getting Invisalign treatment. On the other hand, if you do grind your teeth, you should inform your Invisalign provider. This will help them to make your treatment plan accordingly.

It is quite possible that Invisalign aligners will help you feel relief from teeth grinding in the same way a mouthguard would.

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Contributors:
Amanda combines her medical background with her love for writing to bring you informed and accurate content at Dentaly.org.
Sources

Nidirect. Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Consulted 25th May 2022.