Night Guards for Bruxism & Teeth Grinding
Night Guards Can Help Protect Your Smile
Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth at night may cause you to wake up in the morning with an aching jaw. Your teeth are not built to withstand the constant force. Here are some of the problems you may experience:
- Wear and tear on the enamel, causing tooth sensitivity.
- Muscle spasms and joint problems in the lower jaw.
- Migraines and headaches.
- Teeth going out of alignment.
- Damage to gums and inside of the cheek.
The most serious damage is the deterioration of your tooth enamel. Teeth are covered with a layer of dentin to protect the nerve endings and blood vessels. The dentin is covered by the enamel which is a harder substance.
Persistent grinding of the teeth can result in deterioration of the enamel all the way through to the dentin. This compromises the integrity of your teeth and can result in serious pain.
The damage may mean getting root canals, crowns or bridges which can be expensive. You may even need to have teeth extracted. This is where a night guard comes into play, helping to save your teeth and the expense of complicated dental work.
What Is a Custom Night Guard?
A night guard is a device you wear over your upper and lower teeth to prevent the damage from grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw while you sleep. The cushioning from the guard lessons the amount of pressure from the grinding. You can easily insert and remove it and it will ensure that your jaw is more rested and you’ll wake up with less pain.
- Night guards have three main functions:
- Even distribution of bite force to protect the teeth from damaging stresses.
- Protection of the jaw joints from excessive bite stress that cause pain and damage.
- Reduction of the heavy force caused by the jaw-closing muscles.
A night guard won’t stop your teeth grinding and jaw clenching behavior which could be caused by many different underlying conditions. However, it will help to control the damage.
If you choose to wear a night guard, be sure to keep the underlying causes of your teeth grinding in mind. Alongside wearing a guard, try to reduce the impact of stress in your life. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake and try out some yoga, meditation or other relaxation techniques.
There is no easy cure for teeth grinding but wearing a custom dental night guard and trying to address the underlying problem is the first step towards less frequent and intense episodes of teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
Choosing a Custom-Made Night Guard
We will make a mold of your upper and lower teeth when your jaw muscles are at rest. The night guard made from this mold by a lab technician will fit snugly but comfortably.
When it is ready for you, we will provide you with instructions on wearing and caring for it. You may or may not need follow-up appointments to adjust the night guard, depending on treatment goals and other factors.
A custom-made night guard is more comfortable than the one you can buy over the counter. Buying night guards over the counter may be convenient and cheaper but they are often bulky and uncomfortable. They may even throw off the alignment of your teeth which can worsen the grinding problem.
Custom-made night guards tend to be thinner and are far more comfortable as they are formed to your bite but they still provide enough cushioning to protect tooth enamel and support your jaw. They are made from lightweight material and as they fit well, they allow your muscles to stay as relaxed as possible.
Reducing the stress on your jaw keeps you more relaxed and helps you to sleep better. It can even increase your air intake and help to improve the quality of your sleep. A night guard may even improve tooth alignment.
The Benefits of Choosing a Custom Guard
- Get a more peaceful night’s sleep.
- Wake up with less pain.
- Stop damaging the enamel of your teeth.
- Protect dental work from damage.
If you think you may be grinding your teeth at night, we have the solution that could help you get better sleep and feel more rested in the morning. A custom made night guard will also save you a lot of headaches and money down the line by providing your teeth with the protection they need.