If you experience morning jaw pain, tooth pain, headaches or a sore neck, you may be grinding your teeth at night. A consultation with Dr. MacConnell can help evaluate you for bruxism and determine if a nightguard may be beneficial.
What Is a Nightguard?
Nightguards are mouthguards that you wear as you sleep to prevent certain oral behaviors. If you grind your teeth, it can cause many oral problems. Nightguards prevent you from grinding your teeth together and may also help TMJ disorder pain. If a nightguard is made for you, it’s best to get into the habit of wearing it every night to prevent bruxism.
Do You Grind Your Teeth?
Bruxism is an issue that many people experience while they’re asleep. It’s destructive to the teeth and can also cause pain in the mouth and jaw. When patients have this problem, they will clench their teeth while sleeping and grind them against each other. This problem can damage the teeth and cause jaw pain. It’s common for patients not to know that they have this problem until the dentist sees that the teeth are worn.
Bruxism causes many symptoms, including:
- Pain in the TMJ, the temporomandibular joint.
- Excessive wear on your teeth
- Neck pain
When a patient has occasional bruxism, it might not be a serious problem that needs treatment. For many patients, however, it goes on for a long time and can cause a lot of damage. It can cause the teeth to be broken and enamel loss. Severe bruxism cases can lead to tooth loss.
The exact cause of teeth grinding isn’t known, but it is usually related to stress and anxiety. Other behaviors and conditions can also play a role, such as smoking, consuming caffeine, drinking alcohol, sleep apnea, crooked teeth, snoring, and an abnormal bite.
Wear a Nightguard for Protection
Using a nightguard is an effective way to treat bruxism. A nightguard is similar to an athletic mouthguard in that it is made to fit over the teeth and keep them in place. The guard functions as a barrier that keeps the teeth from grinding against each other.
With a nightguard in your mouth, you can still clench your teeth, but it will reduce the tension and provide a cushion to the muscles in the jaw. This helps patients avoid getting facial and jaw pain due to clenching. Because it creates a barrier between teeth, it can protect the enamel that grinding can damage.
To get a nightguard fitted to your mouth, our team will make an impression of your teeth. Then, a nightguard is made that will give you a precise fit. With a fitted nightguard, you can go to sleep with the confidence of knowing your teeth won’t be damaged.
Nightguard Consultation From the Center for Family & Implant Dentistry
For problems caused by bruxism, talk to Dr. MacConnell about making a nightguard for you to wear. You can call us today to set up a consultation with the dentist about this important dental appliance.