Teeth grinding, or bruxism, if you prefer, is a condition in which you tightly clench your teeth. Individuals who have bruxism may grind their teeth while they’re awake or at night as they sleep. In most cases, these actions are unconscious, and the individual may not even notice the problem until someone brings it to their attention.
Mild bruxism doesn’t demand professional attention. However, if you have severe bruxism that results in persistent headaches and damaged teeth, then you require medical intervention.
For patients with sleep bruxism, night guards are worth considering. Night guards are special mouthguards that are made specifically to help patients who grind their teeth. Night guards work by putting a barrier or cushion between the upper and lower arches. This barrier makes it impossible for you to grind or clench your teeth.
While specialists are still working to determine the exact causes of bruxism, there’s enough information to suggest that bruxism may be a result of various factors. These include stress, anxiety, or tension, misaligned teeth, and mental health and medical disorders.
Regardless of the underlying factors, teeth grinding has numerous adverse effects on the oral and overall well-being of an individual. These include severe wear of tooth enamel, jaw pain, tension headaches, and temporomandibular joint disorders.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms of bruxism, it’s best to get checked immediately before long-term complications set in. During your regular dental exams, our dentist will check to see if you’re showing any signs of tooth grinding.
A night guard looks and works like a sports guard, with a few differences. Night guards are made of thinner material. Sports guards must be thick to withstand impact. Sports guards also provide more coverage than night guards.
During your appointment, our dentist will carefully examine you to determine the extent and severity of your tooth grinding problem. If your teeth are severely worn down, our dentist may recommend dental crowns or dental bonding to restore your smile.
Our dentist will afterward take your dental impressions. Next, these impressions are sent to the dental lab. The dental lab then manufactures a custom, well-fitting night guard to keep your teeth cushioned as your sleep.
Night guards are a painless and non-invasive way of managing bruxism. Where our dentist sees it fit, you may require further treatments for bruxism, depending on your unique needs. For instance, if your teeth are severely misaligned, our dentist may get you started on orthodontic treatment to address your bite problems.