If you often wake up with jaw pain, earaches, or headaches, or if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, you may have a common condition called bruxism.
Although the causes of bruxism are not really known, several factors may be involved. Stressful situations at home, school, or work, problems in sleeping, an abnormal bite, and crooked or missing teeth may contribute to bruxism. Many people do not even know that they grind their teeth, as it often occurs when one is sleeping. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, damaged restorations, or even tooth loss.
There is an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism: nightguards. Nightguards are an easy way to prevent the wear and damage that teeth-grinding cause over time. Custom-made by your dentist from soft material to fit your teeth, a nightguard is inserted over your top or bottom arch and prevents contact with the opposing teeth.
Choosing the right mouthguard is essential. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made nightguard, the “boil-and-bite” nightguard, and a custom-made nightguard from our office. When you choose a nightguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly. A nightguard created in our office will fit all these requirements, as it will be custom-made just for your teeth.
If a night guard is recommended for you, we may also ask you questions about snoring and sleep apnea. Clenching or grinding your teeth at night and sleep apnea are often found together, so it may change the type of device we recommend. A traditional night guard placed in someone who snores can actually make the snoring worse! Our sleep apnea appliances are made to treat both the clenching/grinding and sleep apnea.