Do you experience headaches, jaw pain, or toothaches after waking up? You might be suffering from tooth grinding or clenching; a dental condition called bruxism. Other side effects of bruxism include sleep disturbances, teeth damage, and facial pain. The cause of bruxism can be difficult to identify. Commonly, teeth grinding or bruxism happens unconsciously, and multiple factors can cause them.
Without a specific cause, treating bruxism can be very difficult. Instead, your dentist may suggest treating the symptoms with behavioral changes, lifestyle changes, and night guards. While night guards will not cure bruxism, it reduces the impact it causes to your teeth, head, and jaw. Prevention is key to maintaining your oral health, preserving your teeth, avoiding severe discomfort, and saving hundreds of dollars.
When choosing a nightguard, you have options to consider. It’s worth noting that every type of night guard has advantages and disadvantages.
Over-the-counter night guards are the most affordable. They are ready-made and are easily found at sports or drug stores. There are two major types – stock and boil-and-bite night guards.
Stock night guards are generic and are one-size-fits-all. While they are inexpensive, they aren’t as strong, and it might not be easy to find a perfect fit. Ill-fitting stock guards can hurt your teeth, gums, and jawbone and affect your breathing and speech abilities.
The second option is the boil-and-bite mouthguards. While they are ready-made, you can boil and bite down on them to create a customized fit. Both stock and boil-and-bite night guards are ideal for contact sports.
For maximum protection against the effects of sleep bruxism, you can get a customized night guard from a dental office near you. Custom-fit night guards are made in a dental lab using impressions from your mouth. Since the guards are custom-made, they fit more comfortably than over-the-counter night guards. Also, they last longer and do not affect your speech and breathing. Depending on your condition, budget, and goals, your dentist can make the following three forms of custom-fit guards.
Wearing a nightguard has many benefits, including:
A nightguard is an ideal way to prevent teeth from grinding against each other. Since there’s no direct contact between the teeth on the upper and lower jaw, you can avoid teeth damages such as enamel loss and teeth cracks, chips, or breaks.
Teeth clenching is the activity of moving your jaw unconscious. Clenching can cause temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMD. Wearing a nightguard reduces the stress of bruxism to your jaw joints and muscles, preventing jaw pain and tension.
Wearing a nightguard reduces the tension caused on your jaw by bruxism, which can cause headaches.
Teeth grinding and clenching can affect the quality of your sleep. Wearing a mouth guard helps prevent the effects of sleep bruxism, allowing you to sleep better and improve your sleep quality.
Wearing a nightguard during sleep can also reduce the effects of snoring. Clenching your jaw might cause breathing problems, leading to snoring. A nightguard helps keep your teeth in their rightful position, increasing the amount of air you breathe in while asleep. A nightguard improves your breathing and prevents snoring.
In the long run, a nightguard saves you hundreds of dollars. The side effects of bruxism, such as tooth breaks and jaw disorders, are costly compared to buying a nightguard.
For more information about night guard services, contact Marshfield Dental Group today.