Do You Need a Mouth Guard for Teeth Grinding?
Teeth clenching or grinding while sleeping is a common problem among children and adults. If it happens frequently, it can cause issues ranging from headaches to jaw pain. It can also cause damage to the teeth. When this happens, you need to talk to your dentist.
You may be suffering from a condition known as bruxism. There are several ways to treat the condition, including using a mouth guard while you sleep.
Understanding Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding or bruxism is a condition that affects about eight percent of adults. The problem differs in individuals, with some experiencing mild bruxism and others experiencing severe symptoms. Some people suffer from the occasional headache or sore jaw, while in others, it is a chronic condition.
In many cases, the condition worsens during periods of emotional or mental stress. If it is hurting your health, it is vital to visit your dentist. Treatment can help protect your teeth from damage that can be costly to fix.
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
The most popular treatment for teeth grinding is mouth guards. Also known as night guards, dental guards, or occlusal guards, they are plastic pieces that help cover the teeth. The hard or soft plastic, retainer-like devices cover the top or bottom teeth, keeping the teeth from grinding against each other.
Worn while sleeping, they can help cushion the teeth from the pressure of clenching or grinding. Using a custom night guard can help prevent headaches, inflamed gums, and damaged teeth.
Do You Need a Mouth Guard?
Do you suffer from headaches the moment you wake up? Do you notice that your jaw feels sore, or maybe you have a loose or chipped tooth? If so, you may have bruxism. Signs that you need a mouth guard include:
Waking up with a headache
Chipped teeth that cannot be explained by other injuries
Suffering from TMJ disorder or inflammation of the jaw
Constant clenching or grinding, especially when stressed
Taking certain antidepressants containing paroxetine
Customized Mouth Guards
The best night guards are customized to fit you perfectly. They are available from the dentist and tend to be of higher quality than stock mouth guards. They are custom-made to fit the teeth as they are created from an impression of the patient’s teeth.
The dentist will help ensure that the custom-fitted night guard fits well, making any adjustments necessary. The customized night guard is more costly than OTC devices, but it is also more comfortable.
Caring for Your Night Guard
You should put your mouth guard in just before you sleep. The device may feel uncomfortable for a few weeks, but you will soon get used to it. Ensure that you wash the mouth guard before wearing it and after removing it. You can use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean the guard or rinse it with clean cold water.
Do not use hot water to wash the device, and do not store it in a hot area. It will help prevent warping. Store it in a container and inspect it regularly. If it feels uncomfortable or loose, it may be time for a replacement. You do not have to suffer from the effects of teeth grinding.
To find out if you need a mouth guard for teeth grinding, visit Attuned Dental Care at our Milpitas, California office. Call 408-263-3090 to schedule an appointment today.
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