Bruxism is a condition that involves grinding your teeth, especially during the night. While it is not just discomfort, it is a significant concern for your oral health. Teeth clenching is more manageable during the day, but those having this condition at night do not always have a way out.
The difference between bruxism at night and during the day is that one is unaware of these happenings during the night. As a result, you may unknowingly exert so much pressure on your jaws, leading to pain, jaw dysfunction, and, even worse, fatigue. Some more apparent effects of teeth clenching include headaches that could develop into migraines.
What is a night guard?
This is an overnight mouth guard comprising a thin oral appliance otherwise called a retainer that prevents biting the surface of your teeth. It is essential to wear a night guard while you sleep to avoid hurting your jaw by clenching your teeth too tightly together.
Statistics confirm that bruxism affects at least 10% of older people and 15% of children. The reason why people find themselves grinding their teeth is to find relief from stress and anxiety. But is this a solution to finding relief? It is not because, in addition to feeling excruciating pain in your jaw, you may end up dysfunctioning it.
A few side effects of teeth clenching include mouth soreness, toothache, and swelling of the jaw muscles. These are effects that you can manage. However, more prolonged side effects include changes in how you chew, eat, and speak. These are not easily manageable. Therefore, a night guard comes in handy in helping to prevent so much damage.
What are a few types of night guards?
- Over the counter mouth guards: These are mouth guards that do not need the prescription of a doctor or dentist. You get them from a pharmacy. While they are low cost and not limited in size, they have one disadvantage: some discomfort.
Custom night guard for teeth grinding:
- These mouth guards are specifically built to fit your mouth and prevent you from grinding your teeth. A night guard is excellent and helps to allow a narrow passage between your upper and lower jaws. In addition to this, the guard helps enhance your breathing and bring an end to your sleep apnea issues.
What are the advantages of using a night guard for bruxism?
Protects your teeth from damage
With a night guard, you will protect your teeth from the effects of teeth clenching. A few impacts you are protected from include chipping your teeth and worn-down teeth. When your teeth are protected from damage, they easily stay aligned.
It prevents jaw pain and headaches.
When you clench your teeth too hard, the apparent effects you will feel are excruciating pain in your jaws and headaches that won’t go. The headaches can eventually shift to migraines, making it difficult for you to function normally.
It helps you have a good night's sleep.
When you clench your teeth too hard at night, the pain will eventually wake you up, meaning a disruption of your sound sleep. Doctors recommend that you have your mouthguard on at least 10 minutes before going to bed.
In addition to aligning your teeth, having it a few minutes earlier helps you get used to having the device. Most people are tempted not to wear a night guard while they sleep. If you do not have it on, you can be sure to wake up severally from the pain you will experience by clenching your teeth severally at night.
Snoring is more of an issue for your partner and not yourself. One way of addressing the issue is by having a night guard while you sleep. Clenching your jaw too hard results in breathing problems and you will experience more snoring at night. When your upper and lower jaws are separated, you allow enough air while breathing, which is another way to prevent snoring.
Saves you money
One crucial thing that complements protecting your teeth is how much money you can save. Teeth damage can be severely costly with the unending trips you make to the dentist. Get yourself a night guard to prevent the damage that gets to your teeth from too many teeth clenching at night.
How do you adjust your night guard?
- If you can speak to your dentist, get a night guard built for you and your teeth. This will enhance comfort, but it is also easy to wear and ensures your teeth stay aligned.
- While the night guard is specifically made to be worn at night, you can wear it for short periods during the day. This helps you get accustomed to how it feels for longer hours during the night. It is also a way to help you practice correct breathing with the night guard.
- Keep your night guard clean. To keep the guard clean, use a gentle brush and soap. You enhance hygiene as you will need to adjust it so many times. Keeping your mouth guard promotes oral hygiene. Ensure you also dry it properly after cleaning to prevent moisture buildup that results in bad smells on the guard.
What is the one disadvantage of wearing a night guard?
The one thing you will struggle with is getting accustomed to wearing the guard. As initially mentioned, always ensure to wear the night guard at least ten minutes before you sleep or a few hours during the day. Doing this gives you a hang of what it feels like to have it for longer hours during the night.
Joint pain around the neck area, head, or jaw is an indication that you need a night guard. While teeth clenching will significantly destroy your teeth and even misalign them, having a mouth guard helps prevent teeth problems that may be difficult to resolve in the future. Consider speaking to a dentist for a proper teeth guard that promotes better sleep at night and helps protect against teeth damage and keeps acting as an aligner.