Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common oral health problem that affects millions of people. While it is often considered a harmless habit, excessive grinding can have negative consequences for your oral health, including worn down teeth, jaw pain, and headaches. To help prevent these effects, many people choose to use a custom night guard.
What is Bruxism and Why is it Harmful?
Bruxism is the act of unconsciously clenching or grinding your teeth, usually during the night. While some people may grind their teeth occasionally, others may grind for hours on end, causing significant damage to their oral health. Over time, bruxism can wear down the teeth, causing chips, cracks, and even complete loss of teeth. In addition, the pressure of grinding can cause jaw pain, headaches, and facial discomfort.
Why Custom Night Guards are an Effective Solution
A custom night guard is a device that is worn while you sleep to prevent teeth grinding. Unlike over-the-counter mouthguards, custom night guards are made to fit your mouth specifically, providing a comfortable and effective solution. Here are some of the benefits of using a custom night guard:
- Prevent Teeth Damage: Custom night guards act as a barrier between your teeth, preventing grinding and reducing the damage caused by bruxism.
- Relieve Jaw Pain and Headaches: By preventing grinding, custom night guards also help to relieve jaw pain, headaches, and facial discomfort caused by bruxism.
- Improve Sleep: Custom night guards are designed to be comfortable and allow for natural jaw movement, ensuring that you can sleep peacefully without the discomfort of grinding.
- Durable and Long-Lasting: Custom night guards are made from high-quality materials, ensuring that they are durable and long-lasting.
How Custom Night Guards Can Help with TMJ and TMD
In addition to preventing teeth grinding, custom night guards can also help with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD). TMJ and TMD are conditions that affect the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, causing pain, discomfort, and difficulty speaking or chewing. Custom night guards can help to reduce the strain on the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, providing relief for those suffering from TMJ and TMD.
Choosing the Right Custom Night Guard
When choosing a custom night guard, it is important to work with a dental professional who can create a device that is tailored to your specific needs. Here are some tips to help you choose the right custom night guard:
- Work with a dental professional: A dental professional can take an impression of your mouth and create a custom night guard that fits your teeth and jaw comfortably.
- Consider the material: Custom night guards are available in a variety of materials, including soft and hard plastic. Your dental professional can help you choose the right material for your needs.
- Check for insurance coverage: Some dental insurance plans cover the cost of custom night guards, so check with your insurance provider to see if your policy provides coverage.