Did you know that nearly nine percent of the general population experience sleep bruxism (SB), also known as teeth grinding? Bruxism is a common condition in which a person unconsciously clenches or grinds their teeth. This condition can cause a range of problems such as injury to the jaw muscles, teeth, and temporomandibular joints (TMJs).
While bruxism can occur while you are awake, it is more common during sleep. Some people might not even be aware it’s happening but may experience associated symptoms, such as jaw pain, teeth problems, and chronic headaches. Bruxism can lead to loosened or fractured teeth, loss of teeth, and even changes in your facial profile. While there are currently no medications to stop teeth grinding, your dentist may fit you with a night guard to protect your teeth.
What Is a Night Guard and How Does it Help with Sleep Treatment?
A night guard, also referred to as an occlusal guard, is a dental appliance used to protect your teeth while you sleep. Dentists often recommend night guards to patients who grind their teeth. Night guards may be recommended to children, teens, or adults of all ages. Night guards are custom-made in a lab to perfectly fit the patient’s mouth for optimal comfort.
There are several benefits to wearing a custom night guard:
- Stop damage caused by grinding. Muscle problems of the joints and jaw, tooth fractures, and general oral pain can be diminished with a night guard.
- Prevent plaque development. Never settle for an over-the-counter mouthguard to prevent sleep bruxism. Sports mouth guards can trap bacteria on the teeth and gums, increasing your risk of cavities. Custom night guards are designed to allow saliva to reach the teeth to wash away food particles.
- Avoid changes to your bite. Night guards are designed to fit perfectly over your teeth to protect the surfaces from grinding against one another. In comparison, sports mouth guards are soft and not designed to fit your bite and could cause your bite to shift over time.
- Reduce or stop chronic headaches. Headaches are a common complaint among patients who experience sleep bruxism. Wearing a custom night guard when you sleep can help reduce or stop these headaches.
Schedule an Appointment to Discuss Dental Mouth Guards
Vero Elite Dentistry offers a wide range of dental services including custom night guards to fit your unique bite and prevent teeth grinding and related pain. Our friendly team will advise you on whether you need a night guard and treat any existing conditions. For more information about night guards or to schedule an appointment, contact us online or by calling 772.617.2869.