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 or severely worn teeth, cracked teeth, damaged restorations, or even tooth loss.
There is an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism: night guards. Night guards 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 night guard is essential. There are three basic types of night guards: the pre-made night guard, the “boil-and-bite” night guard, and a custom-made night guard from our office. When you choose a night guard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well fitted for your mouth. It should be easy to keep clean, and should not prevent you from breathing properly. We recommend that your night guard be made of a hard acrylic rather than a soft, rubber-like material. A night guard created in our office will fit all these requirements, as it will be custom-made just for your teeth.