Bruxism is the medical term that refers to grinding the teeth during sleep, something which night guards may help prevent. Grinding is not just annoying but can also cause damage to the teeth, as well as a variety of other health problems. A dentist can perform an exam to determine the extent of the damage…
Bruxism – Protect Your Teeth with a Night Guard
A night guard is one of the treatment options for bruxism. According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 20 percent of adults deal with teeth grinding, and without dental intervention, it can cause teeth damages and other oral health issues. The dentist will fabricate a custom device to protect the teeth.
The effect of bruxism on the teeth
People who grind or clench their teeth regularly subject them to undue forces that they are not meant to handle. The forces produced by bruxism can cause worn or cracked enamel, which can result in teeth sensitivity. If this happens, patients will need to undergo a dental restoration procedure to repair the teeth. It is important to note that these forces can also harm tooth restorations such as crowns, bonding or dental implants.
Teeth grinding can be severe enough that the person may start to notice that their teeth feel loose. Regardless of the severity of the symptoms, a visit to the dentist is necessary if nighttime teeth grinding is suspected. The dentist will typically recommend getting a night guard to protect the teeth and reduce the impacts of bruxism.
Getting a dental guard
Obtaining a new night guard is quite simple and straightforward. The dentist will take impressions of the patient’s oral cavity and send the resulting mold to the dental laboratory. The lab will fabricate a custom-fitted acrylic night guard using the impressions. When the oral appliance is ready, the patient will return to the dental office to try the device on. The dentist will examine the fit of the device and make any required adjustments before the patient leaves.
Nowadays, there are many options for those who want to get an occlusal guard, also known as a night guard. Although the alternatives may appear cheap and sometimes more convenient, getting the device from a dental professional is generally the safest choice.
For example, there are over-the-counter kits that allow patients to customize their own night guard. While the option is cost-effective, it can be challenging to get the device to fit properly inside the mouth. Also, these options often only last for a few months before losing efficiency. They are also sometimes bulky or too soft to absorb grinding force, which may cause the wearer to chew the guard or potentially worsen the problem.
How effective are night guards?
Proper-fitting night guards can reduce the effect of grinding and clenching significantly, but it will stop the habit completely. Patients may continue to grind or clench while wearing the device, which is acceptable, or when they remove the guards. The night guard acts as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth and bears all the grinding forces. If the night guard gets damaged from bruxism, it will need to be replaced.
Bruxism can have undesirable consequences on the teeth. Sore gums, TMJ disorder and teeth fractures are few of the impacts of rubbing the teeth against each other. The dentist can fit patients with a night guard to protect the teeth when suspecting that bruxism is occurring.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Night Guards in Littleton, CO.
A patient's dentist may recommend custom mouth guards to reduce the effects of bruxism and help prevent long-term tooth damage. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common cause of headaches, jaw pain and similar symptoms. It also can increase a patient's risk for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, a condition that may cause jaw joint pain,…
For many professional and amateur athletes, mouth guards are essential for protection and safety. Even children and teenagers may require this type of protective equipment in a variety of sports settings. While many universal-fit options are available and easy to access, most dental professionals recommend ordering a custom-fit model from the patient's dental care office.…
When it comes to preventive dental care, the approach is two-fold. First, it involves going to the dentist for regular checkups and performing any recommended follow-up treatment. Second, good oral health habits are crucial for keeping the body in good working order. For people living with chronic conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis, keeping up…