Do I need a night guard for teeth clenching and teeth grinding?

Do you find yourself grinding your teeth at night? Have you been told that you suffer from teeth grinding and clenching? Do you suffer from headaches and jaw pains because of teeth grinding and clenching? If so, you need a custom mouth guard for grinding teeth. Wearing a mouthguard can protect your teeth from excessive damage, providing relief from jaw pains, dental problems, and other issues. Below, we discuss what’s teeth grinding, and if a dental mouth guard for clenching teeth is the correct solution for you.

What is teeth grinding or bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical terminology for teeth grinding and clenching. Teeth grinding and clenching are often used as synonymous terms, but they have two distinct meanings. Teeth grinding is when you move your jaws back and forth while gnashing your teeth together. Teeth clenching is when you bite down on your teeth with excessive force for extended durations. Teeth grinding and clenching are common conditions that often occur while sleeping or due to stress.

Most people don’t even realize they’re grinding teeth at night until a sleeping partner informs them, or a dentist identifies signs of teeth grinding during a dental exam. Over time, continuous teeth grinding and clenching start wearing away your dental surfaces and enamel, leading to premature decay and sensitivity. Furthermore, continuous teeth grinding and clenching also cause other problems, such as headaches, insomnia, jaw pains, neck pains, etc.

Narrowing down the actual root cause of teeth grinding is challenging because it can happen for several reasons. The following are some of the most common teeth grinding causes.

  • Age: Children grind their teeth frequently — it’s common and normal.
  • Personality: Teeth grinding or clenching is particularly common with competitive, aggressive, anxious, or hyperactive individuals. When you’re angry, stressed, or anxious, you’re more likely to grind and clench your teeth even without your conscious awareness.
  • Medications: You have a higher risk of teeth grinding or clenching if you use tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, or certain psychiatric medications.
  • Health: Teeth grinding or clenching may also happen as symptoms of other health conditions, such as sleep apnea, Parkinson’s disease, hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy, etc. 

How to stop grinding teeth during the day?

The precise root cause of teeth grinding or clenching may be hard to pin down, especially because it can occur due to a combination of genetic, psychological, behavioral, and physical factors. We’ve already discussed some of the most common factors for teeth grinding or clenching above. The following are some tips on how you can stop or minimize teeth grinding during the day:

  • Stop smoking or consuming tobacco in any form, especially at night.
  • Don’t consume excessive caffeine or alcohol.
  • Relax and calm yourself down before sleeping. You can do so through meditation, gentle music, a hot bath, or whatever helps you unwind.

What is a mouthguard and how do they work?

A custom-made mouthguard looks like a tray used for teeth whitening. Once you wear the mouthguard, it sits over your teeth, protecting them from grinding and clenching. Mouthguards don’t stop you from grinding and clenching, but they protect your teeth against the damage. It cushions your teeth, protecting it from excessive wear. It also maintains the natural space between your upper and lower dental arches. A sleeping mouthguard is especially useful for those who suffer from nighttime bruxism, i.e., if you’re prone to grinding or clenching while sleeping.

Do I really need a night guard for bruxism?

A mouthguard isn’t the only suitable treatment for bruxism or TMJ pains. However, it’s a simple, affordable, and non-invasive method of protecting your teeth from damage because of constant grinding and clenching. Furthermore, a custom-made night guard also applies pressure on your jaws to gradually shift it into alignment with your teeth. As such, if you have bruxism, you need a night guard to protect your teeth and prevent the symptoms of TMJ.

You may think that bruxism isn’t a serious issue, but that’s incorrect. If you ignore your bruxism symptoms, you’re more likely to suffer from dental problems, including problems that necessitate root canals, tooth extractions, and other such treatments. Individuals who suffer from teeth grinding and clenching may suffer from around 2 millimeters of enamel erosion during their 20s and subsequently, suffer even more enamel loss. Continuous enamel erosion weakens your teeth, leading to cavities, fractures, and other dental problems.

You can also get over-the-counter mouthguards at your local drug store. However, it’s important to invest in a custom-made guard for teeth grinding and clenching. The following are the benefits of custom mouth guards for teeth grinding:

  • They ensure optimal jaw and teeth alignment, providing significant TMJ relief.
  • They’re a lot more comfortable because they’re fitted for your specific dental anatomy.
  • They’re not likely to slip out of your mouth at night because they’re properly secured.
  • They’re usually made of better materials than over-the-counter mouthguards, so they have better longevity.

Schedule an appointment to discuss your teeth grinding treatment options.

At URBN Dental, we make your dental visit as comfortable and smooth as possible. If you’re experiencing jaw pains, dental fractures, and other symptoms of teeth grinding and clenching, please contact our dentist for prompt diagnosis and treatment. We determine the root cause of teeth grinding and clenching to curate the ideal treatment plan. We also provide highly-personalized nightguards that ensure jaw and teeth alignment, treating bruxism. For more information, please schedule an appointment to discuss your teeth grinding treatment options.

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