Teeth grinding and clenching, known as bruxism, is a condition many may not even know they have. This common condition can result in increased tooth sensitivity and discomfort, along with noticeable damage to teeth over time. The signs of bruxism, combined with an examination at HomeTown Dental at Sherman can get a diagnosis and a direction for treatment. A mouthguard worn while you sleep can offer protection for teeth.
Bruxism can often go undiagnosed for years. Many are not aware that they grind or clench their teeth while they are asleep. It can often take someone else pointing it out, or our dentist recognizing some of the signs of bruxism during a routine exam.
The signs of bruxism could include seeing uneven wear on one side of your mouth. Teeth with cracks and teeth that break without any other apparent cause. There may be enamel loss, and many wake up with a dull headache that is accompanied by discomfort in the jaw.
There is no one known cause of bruxism. There is a school of thought that points to high stress and anxiety levels contributing to bruxism.
Using Night Guards
Bruxism can be treated with the use of a night guard that is slipped over your teeth to be worn while you are asleep. These custom-made dental appliances serve as a protective barrier between the teeth. When you clench your teeth in your sleep, the night guard will be able to help provide relief from some of the tension that is created. It will also help to cushion the muscles in the jaw as you are clenching.
The enamel on teeth will be protected, helping to keep your teeth from further damage while you are asleep. You will wake up with much less discomfort in your face, face, and teeth.
Options For Night Guards
There are a number of over-the-counter night guards. They may be a workable solution for some, but they cannot offer the same measure of protection as is possible with a custom-fit night guard.
Preformed night guards are ready to be used right when you get them home. They will not be as comfortable as a custom-made night guard will be. There are also options for the boil and bite night guards. You simply heat the preformed night guard with boiling water, which softens it. Then you bite firmly onto it, so that it forms around your teeth.
The Process For Getting Night Guards
It may take a bit more time to get a custom night guard than it does to get an over-the-counter solution. However, it is a relatively straightforward process. The first step will be to visit our dentist for a consultation. This is also a good opportunity to examine your teeth and gums for any issues that may need to be treated. Impressions will be taken of both your upper and lower teeth. These impressions will then be forwarded on to the laboratory responsible for making durable and comfortable night guards.
When Should Night Guards Be Replaced?
The better care that you take of your night guard, the longer it will last. Some mouthguards can last for several years. That said, they can still sustain normal wear and tear which does need to be addressed if it occurs.
If the night guard is in need of replacing, you may start to feel some of the discomfort return. Be sure that you are maintaining your regular dental checkups and cleanings, as they offer the opportunity to check on the health of your teeth and mouth.
Schedule a consultation for a night guard with our dentist at HomeTown Dental at Sherman. Call (430) 202-5033 to book your appointment.