According to a study, about 10% of the American population is affected by teeth grinding. That’s a revealing statistic indeed! It effectively means nearly 30 million Americans suffer from a teeth grinding disorder.
Many people who suffer from sleep bruxism don’t even realize that they have a problem until it’s been too long. You may also be one of those.
Who knows if you’ve been grinding teeth all night?
How do you know if you need a night guard too?
Oh, did someone even tell you what a night guard is?
You’ve reached the right page with all your questions. We have put together the information you should know whether or not you need a night guard.
We will explain what a night guard is, how it works, and why you need it. After going through this information you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
What Is A Night Guard?
The crux of our discussion is that the night guard is the holy grail for bruxism. You may have already seen advertisements about night guards at the dentist’s clinic, at the pharmacy or on the internet. Let’s tell you more about night guards.
A night guard is ideal for people who suffer from bruxism or teeth grinding in sleep. Dental experts recommend that sleeping with a night guard can prevent tooth damage due to teeth grinding or jaw clenching.
Signs That You Need A Night Guard
To find out whether you require a night guard or not, you need to check for some tell-tale signs.
You Suffer From Morning Headaches
There are several reasons why you have a headache in the morning. The most obvious reason is poor sleep quality. While sleep apnea could be what’s causing your sleep to be obstructed every night, bruxism is also a highly probable reason.
Teeth clenching or grinding can obstruct your breathing at night leaving you poorly rested in the morning. Besides the stiffness in your jaw muscles can lead to pain that radiates to your head.
Your Teeth Are Noticeably Chipped Or Crooked
People who suffer from bruxism tend to exert a lot of pressure while grinding teeth without even realizing so. Slight misalignment may go unnoticed, but the pressure could be so much that you end up with broken, cracked, or crooked teeth. You could also notice flattening of molars or shorter front teeth.
Another sign of tooth damage due to bruxism is eroded tooth enamel which leads to highly sensitive teeth.
All these signs are a clear indication of nighttime teeth grinding. You’d need a custom-fitted night guard to protect your teeth from further damage. Take a look at Smile Brilliant’s custom night guards that fit comfortably in your jaw and prevent tooth damage.
You Suffer From Chronic Jaw Pain
With constant grinding, jaw and facial muscles can become sore and fatigued. This can cause unbearable pain in the jaws and face. In severe cases, talking and chewing may become difficult too.
If you’re experiencing sudden pain in your jaw, it could be that you are also suffering from bruxism. Wearing a night guard on your jaw can help relax the muscles and give relief from the pain.
You’ve Been Clinically Diagnosed With TMJ Disorder
In extreme cases of teeth grinding, the jaw can become inflamed and result in throbbing pain. A medical condition called Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder is often a side effect of bruxism too. TMJ disorder can severely damage your teeth and impact your life. Your dentist can diagnose whether your pain is related to TMJ or not.
If you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ disorder, your dentist will most likely recommend a night guard for your problems. A custom-designed night is ideal for your condition too.
How Does A Night Guard Work?
Alright, so now you know if your problem can be sorted with a night guard or not. But before you decide on using a night guard, you might want to know how it works. Let us explain the simple science behind night guards.
The night guard creates a barrier between your upper and lower teeth. So when you grind your teeth at night, there is no friction between your teeth. A night guard also acts as a cushion for jaw muscles and helps them stay relaxed despite the clenching. The cushioning effect can effectively reduce jaw and facial pain due to clenching and grinding.
How Long Does It Take A Night Guard To Become Effective?
Are you already exhausted from the failed efforts of controlling your teeth grinding? We understand your exhaustion and frustration.
But you need to know that a night guard will not cure bruxism overnight. In fact, for a few weeks, you may even find it uncomfortable to use. But once you get adjusted to sleeping with a night guard in your mouth, and put it to regular use, you’ll start noticing positive results. Our honest suggestion is to try out a good quality night guard for at least a month and observe the difference in your pain.
Our Final Advice On Night Guards
Whether your teeth grinding problem is mild or serious, the pain and discomfort can hardly be ignored. Wearing a night guard can solve most of your troubles. For best results, always go with custom-fitted night guards. Be sure to replace your night guard from time to time because they may wear out from regular use. If a night guard doesn’t give much relief, be sure to discuss it with your dentist.
You may have no choice with teeth grinding, especially when it happens in sleep. But you do have control over what you do to manage the symptoms. Living with bruxism does not have to be the end of the world for you. With a night guard, you will be able to enjoy a normal life and more importantly a good sleep.