For our patients that suffer from the condition bruxism, we at Woodcreek Dental highly recommend the use of night mouthguards. Bruxism refers to teeth grinding. Many people find themselves waking up with sore jaws and tooth pain, not realizing what may be causing the problem. As much as 10-15% of adults suffer from teeth grinding and experience relief when they use night mouthguards.
Much like sports mouthguards, this type is worn over teeth, as the sufferer sleeps. They prevent the surfaces of teeth from meeting and roughly grinding against each other. Nighttime gear can seem an uncomfortable proposition, but there are many reasons to try it.
Reasons To Wear A Night Mouthguard
Night mouthguards are surprisingly lightweight and comfortable. It does not take long to become accustomed to their use and eventually forget you even put them on. With custom-fit mouthguards, there is less stress experienced by the jaws and supporting muscles. With little grinding effect, the pain and damage to teeth reduce. Headache and neck pain also diminishes.
Increased comfort also means that the sufferer gets to enjoy more uninterrupted and deep sleep. Mouthguards help to position the jaw in a more relaxed way so that better rest is achieved. Because of the separation of the rows of teeth, more space is created for easier passage of airflow. This is often helpful in reducing snoring. With less damage to teeth, there is less likelihood for the need of dental restorative treatments. This means more money in your pocket and less stress.
Types Of Night Mouthguards
There are over the counter preformed mouthguards that can be bought at drug stores. They do not account for the variations in teeth alignment and size of different people so often make for an uncomfortable fit. There are better boil and bite options that provide a more customized but not perfect fit. The mouthguard is placed in boiling water to soften the plastic. Once it is sufficiently pliable, the user needs only bite down on it and mold the shape over their teeth using finger and tongue pressure. Both of these options are cheaply available.
There are also custom-made mouthguards that can be created by your dentist. A dental impression of your teeth is taken by your dentist and then sent to the lab where a perfectly fit mouthguard is made. Hard, durable, and thin plastic is used to ensure a long-lasting and comfortable guard. This durability and comfort make them more than worth the extra money that is charged.
Besides the use of mouthguards, we may recommend treatments to straighten teeth if they are misaligned. Poor occlusion can be a factor in causing grinding so orthodontic treatment may prove helpful. Mental health care through counseling, meditation, and other relaxation techniques may also be prescribed if stress is found to be a contributing factor. If you are in the habit of taking stimulants before going to bed, we will advise that you stop. A review of any medications you are taking may also be done as some may have bruxism as a possible side effect.
To better diagnose if bruxism is causing your dental pains, and how to effectively manage it, make an appointment to see one of our team. Get in touch with us at Woodcreek Dental at (805) 482-6389 now.