Did you ever wake up with a sore jaw, toothache or headache? These are common sleep bruxism, or teeth-grinding symptoms. According to estimates, 10-15 per cent of adults are dealing with sleep bruxism and children will often experience it too.
Teeth grinding or bruxism can be difficult to control or avoid, since it happens during sleep. One way to prevent the harmful effects of grinding your teeth is to wear a nightguard.
What is a Nightguard ?
Night guards come in hard, medium, and soft types, with the soft ones resembling sports mouth guards and hard ones resembling clear plastic retainers, but they’re much more durable and you generally only need one for the upper teeth. Wearing a night guard provides a cushioning effect so the upper and lower teeth can not wear each other off. It will protect your teeth from external damage caused by grinding, such as chipping and erosion, but other symptoms such as jaw pain will not improve as long as the grinding is still taking place.
What is Teeth Grinding or Teeth Clenching?
Bruxism is a chronic disorder which is characterized by teeth grinding or clenching. Bruxism usually occurs during sleep, but sometimes during the waking hours, too. Bruxism may cause a variety of serious conditions, including broken teeth, enamel loss, receding gums, neck pain, jaw pain, headaches, and temporomandibular joint disorders.
To prevent these complications, proper identification and treatment of bruxism is necessary. Fortunately, many people with this disorder can find relief, and use a custom nightguard to treat and handle bruxism effectively.
Who is Generally Affected By Bruxism?
The real cause of bruxism is not well understood, but a combination of physical, psychological and genetic factors may be responsible for it. Difficult emotional conditions, such as high stress, anxiety, anger, frustration, or discomfort, may all lead to the condition’s growth.
Experts agree that certain lifestyle patterns can contribute to the grinding of teeth, including:
- Cigarette smoking
- Excessive alcohol consumption
It has also been found that other conditions (such as epilepsy, sleep apnea, etc.) can be related to bruxism during the day and at night.
Bruxism can affect both adults and children. Child bruxism frequently occurs during sleep or in periods of stress, and most of the time the disorder recovers on its own (unlike in adults). Because the kids’ jaws are still increasing and evolving, it is not recommended using a custom designed nightguard for kids.
Symptoms Of Bruxism
Your dentist will help you decide if any of the symptoms you encounter could have been caused by bruxism and whether you need a nightguard to avoid more harm and pain.
- Chipping, cracking, loosening and flattening of damaged teeth
- Painful sores and wounds from biting the inner cheek
- Pain in the facial muscles
- Extreme sensitivity to the dents and toothache
- Occasional swelling at the bottom of your jaw is caused by clenching
- Neck pain
- Severe jaw pain which can lead to an inability to open and close your jaw fully
- Earache-like pain or pain which radiates in the ear
- Muscle pain or headaches
Damage Caused By Bruxism
Severe grinding and clenching of the tooth will lead to:
- Damage to tooth structure
- Dental damage, such as fillings, veneers, and crowns
- Enamel and soft tissue damage
- Gum recession
Treatment Options For Bruxism
There are a variety of choices for bruxism treatment, from dental nightguards to lifestyle and home remedies, to dental correction procedures, to medication and injections.
Nightguards: Wearing a nightguard is the most recommended solution for the treatment of teeth grinding and clenching. Dental nightguards are designed to protect the upper or lower teeth and operate by clenching and grinding to avoid damage to the dentures.
Natural remedies: Some natural remedies that may be useful in bruxism include reducing stress, improving your diet to ensure that you get helpful vitamins and minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and B-5) and avoiding some foods.
Corrective dental procedures: If bruxism is left untreated, severe damage to your teeth can result, including sensitivity to the teeth, cracked or broken teeth and the collapse of the bite. It can require expensive corrective dental procedures to restore your teeth’s chewing quality. For more details on the corrective dental procedures, you can speak to your dentist.
Top Benefits Of Using a Night guard
A nightguard offers the best possible protection against bruxism at night. Nightguards assist in defending against harm due both to grinding and clenching. It is also built with opposing grooves to help secure a natural resting bite and to mitigate the damage as often as you sleep.
Here are a few benefits of nightguards:
- Prevents Tooth Damage
- Prevents TMJ Dysfunction
- Provides Relief From Pain And Tension
- Reduces Headaches
- Improves The Quality Of Sleep
- Prevents Tooth Crown Damage
Where To Get Your Nightguard for Teeth
You can either buy nightguards, or get a dentist’s personalized nightguard. A traditional over-the-counter nightguard needs that you form it to your teeth by boiling it, allowing it to cool for a moment, and then biting gently into it. But using an over-the-Counter product will never fit as well or last as long as our custom made nightguards, and can sometimes cause more problems than solutions.
Dentists recommend custom nightguards to prevent teeth grinding, and the cost of a dental office custom nightguard is quite huge. A simpler option is to get it online via a custom dental products manufacturer. Dental Lab Direct provides customers an affordable and simple way to obtain a high-quality customized teeth guard, the exact same teeth guard made in dental laboratories, without any problems around scheduling appointments or high costs.