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Treating Bruxism with a Dental Night Guard
So you’ve just had your routine dental checkup and told you need to consider getting a dental night guard. Or you have a reason to believe that you are grinding your teeth while you sleep, and wondered if a night guard could be of help.
What exactly is a dental night guard and why is it used to treat bruxism? The team at Vita Dental Spring is here to explain.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Teeth grinding is the movement of the jaw back and forth, while clenching is biting down with pressure for a prolonged period. This condition; which mostly occurs at night while sleeping is known as Bruxism. Chronic bruxism may lead to several complications with the teeth and the jaw. If not treated earlier bruxism can cause broken, cracked, or chipped teeth, headaches, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
Some of the reasons why you grind your teeth include mal-positioned teeth, teeth or skeletal differences between your lower and upper jaws. Children usually grind teeth in their sleep due to the arrangement of their baby teeth. Also, when adult teeth are erupting into their mouths; they are looking for a comfortable place where their teeth will meet each other. However, after permanent teeth have come out, this grinding usually stops.
What is a Night Guard?
Dental night guards are a treatment option for those who have a history of clenching and grinding their teeth while they sleep. Also known as an occlusal guard, occlusal splint, or bite splint, a night guard is a rubber or plastic device placed in the mouth on top of the upper or lower teeth to help with bruxism. It acts as a protective cushion between the teeth, gives your jaw a rest while you sleep and reduce any grinding noises you make at night.
They can be custom-made by your dentist to fit your mouth, or you can purchase one from a local pharmacist. Visit our dentists at Vita Dental Spring to confirm whether you have bruxism and discuss the available options and costs of the occlusal splints.
Choosing a Night Guard
There may be some obvious factors that will determine whether to get an upper or lower guard. In an instance where you’re missing teeth on either the lower or upper set, you might want to choose the one that has more.
If you’re grinding your teeth, and you need to get a night guard soonest but have some dental work on your teeth; that may change your dental structure. You will have to choose an opposite guard to avoid the risk of loosening that dental work with the constant use of a tight-fitting night guard.
Types of Night Guards Are Available
There are two types of night guards to treat bruxism; professional, custom-made and over-the-counter, (store bought) guards.
- The Custom Made Night Guard
It is an exclusive guard that is modified professionally by the dentist to fit the dental structure of the patient and avoid any unnecessary pressure on the joint. It also ensures that the teeth don’t grind and that you sleep comfortably, prevent the headaches, soreness, and jaw pain. If worn consistently, it can even prevent teeth from shifting.
- Over –The- Counter Night Guard
The option may seem attractive due to the lower cost, thus making them a more cost-efficient alternative in the long run. However, since the store-bought night guards are mass produced and designed to fit all types of dental structures, they may not be as comfortable as the custom made. The material used is also of a lesser quality and wears down much quicker.
Vita Dental Spring highly advises patients to go for the custom-made guards. A professionally and custom-made night guard helps to enhance the comfort and limit the grinding. Visit us today! We stand by our dental services and will always work with you to your complete satisfaction.
Do Night Guards Hurt?
When you first get your night guard, it will take some time to familiarise. You may need to wear it for about a week until it feels normal. Others could even take months to get used to their new device, and this is understandable. Before you sleep in one, try wearing it for a few hours during the day to get used to the feel.
Why You Should Visit Vita Dental Spring for Treatment of Bruxism
There are reasons why some people are hesitant to visit the dentist for bruxism. Maybe you think your situation isn’t severe or the wear and tear are natural and that you’re probably wasting your money when everything looks fine. Our highly qualified dentists, who have years of training know what natural wear and tear looks like and can treat your symptoms. They ask the appropriate questions to help you figure out if you grind your teeth or clench your jaws when you sleep.
You might also think the cost of getting a nightguard made by your dentist is expensive. But when you consider the damage you could be doing to your teeth, by not getting mouth guards, the cost is minimal.
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- Dental Care