Night Guards and Bruxism
When you wake up in the morning, do you feel happy, alert, and free from pain in your mouth? Alternatively, conversely, are you struggling with unexplained discomfort in your teeth and jaw? If this sounds more like you, then you may be suffering from bruxism, a condition characterized by unknowingly clenching or grinding your teeth at night.
Bruxism is a fairly common condition, affecting between 10-15 percent of Americans. While children are more likely than adults to suffer from this condition, many adults still struggle with it. Bruxism can not only affect your quality of life, leading to pain and discomfort in your mouth; it can also damage your teeth. For many of our patients here at Wanserski Dental Center for Complex Dentistry, a nighttime mouth guard can help address and treat the pain and discomfort associated with bruxism.
Symptoms of Bruxism to Take Note Of
Bruxism is often accompanied by many different symptoms that can help facilitate identifying this condition. Signs that you may have bruxism can include pain and jaw, which can radiate up to your ears or down to your shoulders. An unexplained headache that seems focused on your temples may also point to bruxism, as can a persistent earache.
Other clues that you may have bruxism can include teeth that are chipped or cracked. The enamel may seem like it is wearing down. Your jaw may pop and click or lock, and you may have pain when eating. Your cheeks may have cuts and lacerations on them from chewing on your inner cheeks as you sleep, and your sleep may be thin and broken due to the constant clenching and grinding.
Causes of Bruxism
The exact causes of bruxism can be hard to pinpoint, but there are several different triggers that can lead to this condition. People who have a “Type A” personality may be more likely to have bruxism, and stress is often correlated with it. Certain medications and substances can also cause bruxism, such as antidepressants or tobacco and alcohol products. Medical conditions may also be to blame, such as GERD, epilepsy, or dementia.
Using a Night Guard to Treat Bruxism
If you struggle with bruxism, you may be a good candidate for a nighttime mouthguard. A night guard can help you get the much-needed relief from the symptoms of your bruxism. For instance, they can help provide a buffer between your teeth as you sleep. This can help protect them from becoming chipped or worn down from the clenching and grinding. A nighttime mouthguard can also help you get a better night’s sleep, as it can help relieve the tension in your jaw and give you a break from the constant grinding. Finally, it can help eliminate the painful headaches, cuts and lacerations, and an ongoing earache that can be caused by the bruxism.
Many people may not even be aware that they are grinding or clenching their teeth at night. If you suspect that you may be suffering from bruxism and would like more information about this condition, or you would like to set up an appointment with us here at Wanserski Dental Center for Complex Dentistry, please give us a call at (715) 848-2435 today!