Night Guards for Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding and clenching while you sleep, also known as bruxism, can lead to jaw pain and damaged teeth. Fortunately, dentists have an effective treatment to prevent people from grinding their teeth. Nightguards put a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, protecting your teeth from excessive wear and can take strain off of your jaw joint and muscles.
Teeth Grinding Causes and Symptoms
No one knows what causes people to grind their teeth or clench their teeth, though researchers suspect the following factors:
- Stress and anxiety
- Drinking alcohol or caffeine
- Sleep disorders like sleep apnea
- An abnormal bite
Teeth grinding is an involuntary action that usually happens at night, with only about 10% of people with bruxism experiencing it during the day. Symptoms and side effects of grinding your teeth at night include:
- Jaw and facial pain
- Sleep disruption
- Broken teeth and enamel damage
- Gum recession
- Tooth sensitivity
Types of Nightguards
Nightguards, also known as mouthguards, are a cost-effective treatment for teeth grinding and clenching. Nightguards buffer the muscles of your jaw when you grind your teeth. As a result, they can relieve jaw and face pain and protect your teeth.
Types of nightguards include:
- Over the counter soft night guards
- Dual laminate night guard for moderate cases
- Hard night guard for severe cases
Where To Get a Nightguard
You have many options when choosing a nightguard. However, buying a nightguard over the counter won’t perfectly fit your teeth. A popular nightguard called a boil-and-bite allows for some customization, but getting a custom-fitted night guard from your dentist is the best option.
Some reasons to get fitted for a night guard or mouthguard from a dentist rather than buying one yourself include:
- Designed specifically to fit your teeth
- Over the counter material is too soft and may cause you to “chew” your night guard thus over-activating your chewing muscles.
- Less of a chance of falling out of your mouth
- Made of more durable material
- Provides better protection of your teeth
Most people are not aware of the damage caused by grinding until a dentist examines their teeth. At Eberhardt Dentistry, we’ll perform a complete examination before we create your night guard. After a dental laboratory produces the device, we’ll custom-fit it to ensure it perfectly matches your bite.