Nightguards – do i need one?
Do you suffer from headaches or wake with a sore jaw on a regular basis? This could signal that your muscles were hard at work while you slept. Teeth grinding can cause damage to your teeth. It is important to visit your dentist for treatment and discover whether a night mouth guard will assist you.
Night mouth guards are worn to protect the teeth from chronic grinding during your sleep, medically termed Bruxism. Even if you don’t notice it, your partner probably has. Protecting your teeth can help reduce the rate of tooth enamel ground down in the night.
Symptoms of chronic teeth grinding
Signs of chronic tooth grinding are easy to catch if you start to pay attention to your body. Sometimes you might find your symptoms are linked with other discomforts. If you wake with a constant headache or a sore jaw on a regular basis, this could signal that your muscles were hard at work while you slept. Aggressive and persistent teeth grinding can wear teeth down to nubs or result in fractured or lost teeth.
What causes teeth grinding?
Several things cause Bruxism. Teeth grinding can be linked to stress levels in daily life. Whether it’s work, personal matters or other forms of stress, this can lead to a tightening and clenching of the jaw when you sleep. Often, Bruxism can be cured by stress management practices when you’re going about your day. Night mouth guards will protect your teeth, help you sleep better and allow you to awaken without tension or pain.
Misaligned or missing teeth, inhibiting the jaw’s ability to relax, can also cause Bruxism. Extreme cases can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). This occurs when inflammation besets the jaw muscles. It’s important to visit your dentist if you feel this could be a possibility. Even if you are currently undergoing an orthodontic treatment, like braces, night mouth guards can easily be made to fit your mouth and help you sleep.
It is important to note that some medications can lead to teeth grinding, especially antidepressants. Talk with your dentist to discover if any prescription medication you regularly take lists Bruxism as a potential side effect.
How to lessen teeth grinding
By day, you can try these stress relieving techniques to lessen your teeth grinding:
- reduce intake of caffeine, like chocolate or coffee
- start an exercise programme to relieve stress
- avoid chewing gum on a regular basis, as it constantly works your jaw muscles and teaches them to clench
- reduce alcohol intake
- before going to sleep, consciously relax your body through meditation or other practices to ensure maximum relaxation during the night
During the night, you do not have the conscious awareness to actively manage your stress. Therefore, a nightguard is a good option for protecting your teeth as you sleep.
If you are aware that you grind your teeth during the night, it is important to visit your dentist to determine how severe your Bruxism is and to obtain treatment options. Night guards offer a discrete and comfortable way to protect your teeth as you sleep and ensure that your jaw muscles are relaxed when you wake up.