Bruxism is the medical term for excessive teeth grinding and jaw clenching not related to normal eating or talking. It is usually an unconscious action, but can result in jaw pain, tooth wear, and other issues. If you are suffering from bruxism, you may need to wear a mouthguard to prevent damage to your teeth. A night mouthguard helps alleviate symptoms of bruxism by keeping the bottom and top teeth isolated from each other. Since the top and bottom teeth are kept separated by the mouthguard, it minimizes the damage that might have otherwise occurred.
Today, different types of night mouthguards are available. Boil-and-bite and stock mouthguards are the two most popular choices, with stock mouthguards being the least effective. Our dental professionals can also make a mouthguard that is custom-fitted just for you. To find out which mouthguard is best suited for you, please contact our team at Mor Smiles. We will be happy to explain the different mouthguards and other methods of treating bruxism.
Importance of Using a Mouthguard at Night
Occasional teeth grinding is not extremely harmful, but over the long term, teeth grinding can cause significant damage to your teeth. It can lead to the loss of tooth enamel and, in some cases, may lead to tooth loss. Thankfully, bruxism can be treated by wearing a mouthguard while you sleep. Also known as bite splints, dental guards, nocturnal bite plates, and night guards, night mouthguards provide cushioning by creating a physical barrier between the upper and lower teeth. When clenching or grinding your teeth, the mouthguard will protect the teeth and alleviate tension on the jaw muscles, helping to relieve jaw pain.
Types of Night Guards
There are numerous types of night guards available on the market. The most popular and probably the most widely used night guard is the soft night guard. This mouthguard is designed for those who are experiencing mild symptoms of bruxism. Comfortable and highly adaptable, soft night guards are also inexpensive. The major drawback of the soft night guard is that it does not last long.
The dual laminate night guard is another popular choice. Designed for people who are suffering from moderate to severe bruxism symptoms, dual laminate night guards have a hard, outer shell and soft inner shell. These mouthguards last a long time and withstand heavy clenching and grinding. The only drawback is, that because it has more bulk than other guards, it can take more time to adjust to wearing it.
Hard night guards are designed for those who are suffering from a severe form of bruxism. Hard night guards are ultra-durable and can prevent serious damage to the teeth. However, the patient may find the hard night guard to be a bit uncomfortable at first and it might interfere with the normal sleeping pattern until after the adjustment period. While these guards are more expensive, they offer the highest level of tooth protection.
If you feel that you could have bruxism, please call Mor Smiles at 223-258-5088. Our team will examine your teeth and recommend the best mouthguard for your needs.