Who Needs Nightguards?
Some people grind or clench their teeth while they sleep and wake up with a sore jaw, headache, or broken tooth without knowing why. Other people grind their teeth while awake as a nervous habit, and may not even realize they’re doing it!
Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, can have serious side effects. Call us if you have any of these symptoms of bruxism:
- Being woken from teeth grinding or clenching
- Fractured, chipped, or loose teeth
- Worn tooth enamel
- Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
- Tight jaw muscles or jaw locks up too much or won't completely open or close
- Pain in the jaw, neck, face or ears
- Dull headaches, often in the temples
Causes of Bruxism
Medical professionals believe teeth grinding is a result of combined physical, psychological, and genetic factors:
- Anxiety, stress, anger or tension
- Deep dreaming and other sleep stimulations
- Certain medications, or substances such as caffeine and alcohol
- Medical conditions such as Parkinson's, dementia and other diseases
- Genetics - bruxism commonly runs in families
- In children, causes of bruxism most commonly include oral irritation, allergies, and teeth that need realigning.
Both adults and children who grind their teeth need dental attention. If left unchecked, affected teeth can wear down and cause fracture and sensitivity.
For children, a check-up by our dentists and the child's pediatrician can usually result in corrective solutions. For adults, a mouth guard worn nightly is the first line of defense.
What is a night guard?
A night guard is a type of mouthguard specifically designed to treat bruxism. It fits over your teeth and prevents them from grinding and clenching during sleep. We will create a custom night guard to alleviate the painful symptoms of bruxism.
Night guards are easy to use and take care of:
- Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste
- Occasionally clean the night guard in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
- Transport the night guard in a sturdy container that has vents
- Don't leave the night guard in the sun or hot water
- Check for wear and bring your night guard to your dental appointments so we can check its condition.
Other bruxism treatment
Adults can benefit from relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, and exercise. Cutting down on caffeine or alcohol might also help.