5 Ways a Mouth Guard for Clenching Can Help

A lady holding clear mouth guard

If you struggle with chronic headaches, fatigue, or soreness in your jaw, you may be suffering from “bruxism” or clenching while you sleep. Along with daily discomfort like jaw pain, chronic clenching might lead to serious dental complications if left untreated.

Luckily, treating bruxism is as easy as sleeping with a mouth guard to protect vulnerable teeth from further damage. Mouth guards are made to improve symptoms in the short term and lead to better sleep and healthier teeth in the long term.

Signs of Bruxism

Bruxism is difficult to diagnose since it occurs in most individuals while they are sleeping. However, there are several tell-tale signs to look for if you suspect you might be suffering from clenching.

Symptoms include:

  • Soreness in the jaw or jaw muscles.
  • Facial pain around the jaw, cheeks, and sinuses.
  • Chronic headaches.
  • Chronic fatigue and waking up feeling unrested.
  • Chipped or worn teeth from severe clenching and grinding.

Once you’ve identified the symptoms of bruxism, the best thing to do is visit your dentist immediately. Your dental professional will check for extreme issues like worn enamel and cracked teeth and advise you on the best type of mouth guard to treat your condition.

Choosing a Mouth Guard

There are several different types of mouth guards to choose from including boil and bite, hard mouth guards, and dual laminate mouth guards. In general, custom-made acrylic mouthguards offer the most consistent, effective, and long-term protection from clenching. Boil and bite mouthguards are suitable for those with minimal clenching, and serve as an effective temporary solution before your custom mouthguard arrives. 

How Your Mouth Guard Benefits Your Oral Health

Mouth guards don’t just mitigate side effects from excessive clenching. A well-fitting mouthguard is a key tool in maintaining your overall well-being.

#1 Prevent Teeth from Shifting

One of the major benefits of wearing a custom-made mouthguard is they prevent your teeth from shifting after orthodontic treatment.  If you’ve dealt with orthodontics in the past, then you know that treatment isn’t cheap! It’s foolish to waste all that money and neglect your perfectly straight teeth as soon as your braces are removed. Wearing a hard acrylic mouth guard serves the dual purpose of protecting your teeth from grinding and ensuring they stay in place.

#2 Prevent Damage

Tooth grinding and clenching wear away enamel over time, which leads to complications like tooth decay and heightened sensitivity. Fortunately, this type of damage is easily preventable with the use of a mouth guard. Mouth guards provide a shield for teeth and protect them from damage over time.

#3 Treat Symptoms of TMJ

TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) is a muscular complication caused by intense clenching and pressure on the temporomandibular joints. Symptoms of TMJ include pain and swelling in the jaw, trouble chewing, trouble opening the mouth, and clicking or cracking in the jaw. Mouth guards prevent TMJ from developing by cushioning the jaw muscles and preventing bite pressure from intensifying over time.

#4 Prevent Headaches

The muscles in your head, neck, jaw, and shoulders are all connected. People who suffer from constant tension and clenching in their jaw often experience chronic headaches in their necks and temples. These headaches may occur frequently and may preempt worse conditions like migraines. By cushioning the jaw, mouthguards not only relieve symptoms of TMJ, but also diminish chronic headaches and neck pain due to tension.

#5 Save Money

Last but certainly not least, using a mouthguard saves money. As previously mentioned, teeth that have undergone orthodontic treatment will shift over time. Custom-made retainers save you money by ensuring these teeth stay in place, so no additional orthodontic treatment is needed.

Additionally, treating conditions like clenching and TMJ prevents these issues from worsening and potentially costing you hundreds of dollars in repair fees down the road. The cost of a custom mouth guard is relatively low compared to the cost of repairing damaged teeth and seeking expensive physical therapy for TMJ side effects.

Order Your Perfect Mouth Guard from Dental Lab Direct

Dental Lab Direct is one of the leading online providers of mouth guards, partial dentures, and retainers. Skip the expensive mouth guard from the dentist, and instead invest in one of Dental Lab Direct’s high-quality flexible acrylic mouth guards. At Dental Lab Direct we use FDA-approved materials to create high-quality, durable dental appliances made to fit seamlessly into your lifestyle. Get your order started today to experience the life-changing power of your new mouthguard.