Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Night Guards: Shielding Your Mouth Against Teeth Grinding  

Clenching or grinding your teeth during sleep is pretty common among children and adults. However, this becomes a matter of concern if it happens consistently leading to adverse effects like headaches, tooth or jaw pain, or damage to your teeth. Persistent, involuntary teeth grinding is known as bruxism. Early detection and treatment can help improve the symptoms and improve your quality of life. 

The Easton, MA dentist and the team of dental specialists are experienced in tackling symptoms of bruxism. They offer special oral appliances such as night guards to protect your teeth from further damage. 

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is defined as a medical condition, characterized by habitual clenching or grinding of your teeth. This can happen while you are asleep (sleep bruxism) or awake (awake bruxism), leading to an array of symptoms. 

Common signs and symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Chipped teeth
  • The presence of faucets on the occlusal surfaces of the molars
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Waking up with a severe headache
  • TMJ disorder- jaw tenderness due to constant clenching of the teeth
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity 
  • Gum disease

What are night guards?

Night guards are dental appliances that are designed to fit securely around your teeth. These are made up of clear or transparent plastic; thus, it does not pose any cosmetic concerns. Night guards are either available in the market or fabricated by your dentist. 

How do night guards help?

Night guards are excellent therapeutic aids that help in the following ways:

  • Prevent damage
    • Night guards help prevent damage to the tooth and soft tissues by acting like shock absorbers to distribute the forces.
  • Ease discomfort
    • Bruxism can lead to severe strain on facial muscles. This leads to headaches and tooth or jaw pain.
  • Prevent TMJ disorder
    • TMJ pain is a classic sign of bruxism that can be debilitating. 

How are night guards customized?

The steps involved in the fabrication of night guards are mentioned below:

  • Your dentist will evaluate your symptoms, and conduct a dental exam to assess the severity of bruxism.
  • Your mouth will be thoroughly cleaned to remove any plaque or debris.
  • A full mouth impression of your upper and lower jaw will be recorded and sent to the lab.
  • A customized night guard will be fabricated.
  • Your dentist will provide all the necessary instructions about the usage of the night guard. 
  • You are expected to use the night guard every night for the desired period as instructed by your dentist.

Night guards are excellent, cost-effective dental appliances that can greatly provide symptomatic relief from bruxism and prevent further damage.