If you clench your jaw or grind your teeth at night, you may be suffering from bruxism. While it sounds serious, bruxism is very common and can easily be treated with a night guard. A night guard is a special mouth guard-type of dental appliance; it helps prevent tooth damage caused by the constant distress placed on teeth by bruxism.
Signs that your dental health can benefit from a night guard are:
- Teeth grinding
- Waking up with dull headaches
- Jaw soreness
- Facial pain
- Fatigue from lack of sleep
No one knows from sure what leads people to grind their teeth overnight, but many dentists and doctors believe it to be stress related. The use of alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine, sleep apnea, snoring, an abnormal bite, and crooked teeth may also contribute to bruxism.
Night guards work because they create a barrier between your teeth relieving the pressure caused by clenching your jaw. This cushion protects your teeth as well as decreasing muscle tension in your face. Night guards for teeth can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription, as well as straight from the dentist.
For some patients, over-the-counter night guards work fine. In other cases, a custom-fit bite splint made by your dentist is more effective. If you think that you need a night guard, you should consult with your dentist to get the one that is right for you.
Regardless of the type of night guard you choose, it’s important to follow a few simple rules for them to help alleviate the symptoms of grinding your teeth.
- Use it consistently for 4-6 weeks. It has to have time to do its job and that won’t happen overnight.
- Put the night guard in just before you go to sleep. Don’t wear it around all evening.
- Care for it properly by keeping it clean and disinfected.
Call us today at 770-945-5850 to find out if a bruxism mouth guard is right for you. As part of a preventative dental care plan, it can help you sleep better and protect your teeth. The caring team at Gentry Dentistry of Suwannee has created thousands of custom night guards for our patients.