Do you grind your teeth at night?
A custom mouth guard for teeth grinding could save your smile.
A night guard for teeth grinding could save your smile from the negative side effects of grinding your teeth at night. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is the act of clenching your jaw at night and then moving it around so that your upper and lower teeth rub together. This puts excessive pressure on your teeth, leading to the potential for chipped teeth, lost teeth, and an increased risk of cavities and other dental conditions. It also puts a lot of pressure on your jaw, hence why you may wake up with a sore jaw.
What is a Night Guard for Teeth?
A night guard, also known as an occlusal guard, occlusal splint, or bite splint, is a plastic mold that fits over some or all of your teeth. More commonly, the guard only fits over the top teeth. Certain factors, such as wearing braces, may prompt your dentist to create a guard for your bottom teeth as well. That’s the great thing about a custom night guard for teeth grinding, it’s made specifically for you, the shape of your mouth, and so forth.
Save Your Enamel with a Night Guard for Teeth Grinding
Grinding your teeth wears away your tooth enamel, therefore robbing your teeth of their outermost protective layer. Once enamel dissipates, there’s no getting it back. Plus, less tooth enamel increases your risk for cavities, tooth sensitivity, and other issues.
Do You Need a Mouth Guard for Teeth Grinding?
You may not even know you are grinding your teeth at night and could benefit from a mouth guard for teeth grinding. Ask a friend, family member, or spouse to take note while you sleep and see if they hear you grinding your teeth. In the meantime, be on the lookout for common symptoms of teeth grinding, such as:
- Pain in your jaw and face
- Headaches, especially persistent when you first wake up
- Discomfort when you open your mouth or move your jaw muscles
- Increased pain when you chew or eat
- Tooth sensitivity
- Disruptive sleep
Does Wearing a Night Guard Stop Tooth Grinding?
A night guard doesn’t necessarily stop you from grinding your teeth. In fact, researchers admit there is no known way to stop your brain from clenching and grinding your jaw since you cannot control movements in your sleep. So, the next best thing you can do is protect your teeth from damages by shielding them with a night guard. This provides a barrier between your lower and upper teeth and puts some space in between the two. That way, you wear down the guard instead of your natural tooth enamel.
Do I Really Need a Night Guard for Teeth Grinding?
Only a dentist can you tell if you a night guard for teeth grinding is right for you. Although, for the most part, they are an incredibly helpful aid when it comes to preventing the side effects of teeth grinding. Common side effects of teeth grinding without a night guard include:
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Tooth loss
- Loss of enamel—once enamel wears away you do not get it back and your teeth become more prone to cavities and other dental issues.
- Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD), a disorder that impacts the mobility of your jaw. Thankfully, this disorder typically goes away on its own once the underlying problem or cause is addressed.
When Do You Wear a Mouth Guard for Teeth Grinding?
Teeth grinding typically only occurs when you’re sleeping and do not have control of your muscle movements. During the day when you are awake and alert, you can stop yourself from clenching your jaw before you even start to grind your teeth. Hence, why a night guard for teeth grinding is worn at night.
You can still help control the issue when you’re awake. For instance, if you notice your jaw clenching, take a deep breath and try to soften and relax your jaw. By focusing on relaxing your jaw throughout the day, you can help reduce tension and grinding at night.
Custom Mouth Guards for Teeth Grinding by Southcentre Dental
We take utmost care to create custom mouth guards for teeth grinding. Our focus is on each patient and their specific needs, taking everything into account from the shape of your mouth to the severity of bruxism. If you think you are grinding your teeth at night, stop in for a visit so we can assess the situation and offer an effective solution to prevent serious dental issues from arising as a result of uncontrolled teeth grinding.