WHAT’S A NIGHT GUARD? DO I HAVE BRUXISM?
A Dental night guard is an oral appliance that protects your teeth from chronic grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism. It acts as a cushion barrier between your top teeth and bottom teeth. According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, teeth grinding/clenching is common among children and adults at times. Bruxism in children can occur through stress and during sleep, but in most cases resolve on their own. Children are not recommended for night guards due to the fact that their jaws are still developing. However, adults that experience grinding and clenching chronically during sleep often are best resolved with a nightguard. If untreated in adults can cause issues with your teeth and/or jaw; if so it’s time to speak to a dental professional at Coliseum.
Because the actions of clenching and grinding place stress upon your jaw (just like working out causes muscle fatigue and soreness) you can experience jaw pain, damage to the tooth structure, gum recession, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, headaches, and even migraines that make it difficult to function throughout the day.
DO I NEED A NIGHT GUARD?
If you experience these signs/symptoms:
- Chipped or fractured teeth
- Waking up with headaches
- TMJ inflammation due to clenching
- Chronic grinding
- Wear or flat surfaces of your teeth (I.e. posterior molars or canines)
- Thinned out protective enamel or exposed dentin
REASONS FOR A CUSTOM NIGHT GUARD
Over-The-Counter night guards can be bulky, at times ill-fitting, and if not captured accurately can lead to pain/pressure/soreness, tooth shifting, or even jaw misalignment. An in-office impression and custom made night guard provides a snug fit for comfort provides an even bite between posterior and anterior teeth to actually reduce clenching, grinding, and TMJ issues.
ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS
Medications for anxiety or muscle relaxants can help manage bruxism. For patients that are not able to wear a night guard and/or seek alternative treatments; Botox injections can help people with severe bruxism and reduce their grinding and clenching. If you have any questions or interested in more information about medications and injections you should speak with your dentist at Coliseum Dental.
Custom Nightguards aren’t cheap, but neither is restorative treatment. If you protect your teeth during early signs of clenching and grinding it will be more cost-effective and health beneficial. Opt for a custom night guard that will feel better, is custom to your smile, and is guaranteed to fit!