Night Guards for Teeth Grinding
When you experience a lot of stress in your everyday life, grinding your teeth during sleep can become an unconscious habit. This puts enormous stress on your teeth as well as the muscles and tissues of your jaw. Dentists call this condition bruxism. Fortunately, it usually responds well to wearing a guard on the teeth at night.
Additional Information About Bruxism
Besides the damage described above, bruxism can cause headaches, earaches, and ongoing jaw pain. Although stress is the leading contributor to this condition, you may also develop it due to one of these issues:
- Poor diet
- Poor sleep habits
- Generalized anxiety
- Teeth misalignment
Approximately one-third of adults have bruxism, although many do not realize it. It tends to affect women more than men. If you have any of these risk factors or are experiencing pain, don’t hesitate to request a bruxism evaluation at LAVON Dental & Implant Center.
Developing a healthier response to stress is one way to overcome bruxism. People who struggle with stress management often have other nervous habits as well, including chewing their fingernails and non-food items such as pencils. If bruxism goes on too long without treatment, you could end up with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) on top of the bruxism. This condition causes significant pain in the head and neck. Other possible complications of bruxism include difficulty eating, insomnia, and depression.
Night Guards are a Simple, Painless Solution
It can be extremely challenging to stop grinding your teeth on your own because you’re not aware of your actions while sleeping. Dr. Kuipers can only diagnose this condition after evaluating the tissues and muscles in your mouth along with your teeth. Our clinic offers several night guard options to help stop the damage caused by unconscious teeth grinding.
You can do several things at home to overcome this problem in addition to wearing a night guard. Some of these include:
- Apply a heat or ice pack to the painful areas
- Choose softer foods or take longer to chew food with harder surfaces
- Stay hydrated throughout the day
- Make sure that you get enough sleep every night
- Get a professional massage of your neck and facial muscles
- Take over-the-counter pain relief or apply ice or heat to areas where you experience pain
Although it’s not fun to experience bruxism, it’s a common and treatable problem. The sooner you schedule an evaluation, the sooner you can feel better.