Many people suffer from a condition call bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding. Although people consciously grind their teeth during the day, it is a more serious problem at night. Grinding your teeth can damage your tooth’s enamel, cause jaw pain, and even harm the gum tissue surrounding the teeth.
A night guard is a great solution for teeth grinders.
How do I know if I need a night guard?
There are several signs that indicate you may suffer from bruxism and need a dental night guard to protect your teeth.
Headache: Do you frequently wake up in the morning with a headache? Teeth grinding can place stress on the muscles in your shoulders, jaw and neck. Over time, this muscular fatigue can cause headaches and migraines upon waking up. If this is a case, you should consult with one our dentists to discuss the option of getting a dental night guard.
Jaw Noises: After placing continual pressure on your jaw bone over the course of an entire night you’ll find that it becomes sore and stiff. Long-term bruxism often leads to jaw clicking, and in more sever cases can lead to TMJ disorder.
Teeth Alignment: Continual bite pressure can cause stress on surrounding teeth. This stress can cause teeth to shift or erode. This then compromises the structural integrity of your bite force.
Vulnerability: Constant grinding will eventually weaken your teeth, making them more vulnerable to chipped or cracked teeth.
How do night guards work?
Dental night guards are similar to a normal mouth guard in function. It provides a barrier between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth, and then send the impression off to a lab to have your custom night guard made. Night guards are very durable, often lasting over 10 years.
Advantages of night guards
Wearing a night guard can help –
- Prevent tooth damage
- Ease pain in the neck and shoulders
- Improve breathing
- Reduce headaches
- Decrease jaw pain
- Maintain tooth structure – reduce susceptibility to chipped or fractured teeth