Should I Get A Night Guard? by Donna Martin, on 07-Apr-2016
Bruxism is the clinical term for clenching or grinding of teeth. If you wake up with a sore jaw, dull headache or tooth pain, you may very well have been clenching or grinding your teeth. The American Dental Association reports that 10-15% of adults are affected by Bruxism.
Signs & Symptoms Include:
- Rhythmic contraction of jaw muscles
- Grinding sounds at night
- Jaw muscles tight or painful
- Pain in face
- Occasional swelling on side of lower jaw
- Dull headaches
- Sore jaw
- Popping of the jaw
Treatment for Bruxism:
The most common form of treatment for bruxism is a night guard. This may also be referred to as a bite guard or an occlusal guard. This is a device that is typically worn at night while sleeping to prevent the surfaces of teeth from grinding together.
Store bought night guards are not as ideal as the night guards from a dentist. The store bought version is placed in boiling water, cooled for a few seconds, and then inserted into the mouth to form the base.
The night guards from a dentist are of a significant higher quality and superior fit. They are fabricated from an actual impression of the teeth. This usually makes them much more comfortable and easier to stay in while sleeping. They do cost more than the store bought night guards, however, our office cleans and inspects our night guards at every cleaning appointment to ensure quality and comfort. Protecting your dentistry is important for comfort as well as helping to keep from costly dental treatments. Night guards help prevent chips or cracks in teeth that can have costly consequences. They also help prevent jaw pain and sore muscles from clenching and grinding.
Other Treatment For Bruxism May Include:
Teeth Straightening - crooked teeth that are not in alignment can contribute to teeth grinding. Straightening your teeth can easily remedy this condition. Our doctors are Preferred Providers of Invisalign® - Invisible Braces that require no metal or wires to straighten teeth.
Stress Prevention - stress and anxiety are the main cause of bruxism. Trying various relaxation exercises or even therapy may help alleviate stress and improve the stress you place on your teeth when clenching or grinding.
Change in Diet or Medications - avoiding stimulants such as caffeine may actuallly help in reducting bruxism. Anti-depressants have been linked to an increase of clenching and/or grinding of teeth.
If you have any of the symptoms of bruxism, please call our office for a free consultation to discuss the proper treatment for you.