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How Do Night Guards Prevent Teeth Grinding?

Night Guards Dentist Grand Rapids, MI

Night Guards Dentist Grand Rapids, MI

Do you ever wake up with jaw pain? If so, you may have a condition called bruxism that causes you to grind your teeth at night. Many patients are unaware they’re grinding or clenching teeth at night until our dentists notice worn enamel or have to repair cracks and chips to their smiles.

Continue reading to learn how night guards prevent teeth grinding. For more information, don’t hesitate to call our office to schedule an appointment.

If you have more questions about teeth grinding, or our services, feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

What are the signs of teeth grinding?

If left untreated, the force exerted from teeth grinding will overwork your jaw muscles and cause you to wake up feeling sore. While bruxism destroys your teeth, it’s often done unconsciously. In fact, many people are unaware they have bruxism until they’re told by their dentists. The sound of teeth grinding can also be enough to wake your partner.

Teeth grinding symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Toothaches
  • Sore jaw
  • TMJ disorder
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Loose teeth

If you recognize any of the above symptoms (especially those that happen when you wake up), call our office to schedule your appointment. The longer you wait to see a dentist, the more likely you’ll need crowns, veneers, and other tooth restorations to repair your smile. A teeth grinding guard saves you money in the long run by reducing your need for emergency dental care and restorations.

Why do people grind their teeth at night?

Some people grind their teeth because they are stressed or anxious. Grinding or clenching their teeth helps them relieve stress, however unconsciously. Other people grind their teeth because their jaws aren’t aligned properly. When they bite down, the teeth don’t make proper contact and can create an uneven wear pattern on the enamel.

While it’s normal to clench your teeth every once in a while, you should see one of our dentists if it becomes a habit. Over time, clenching or grinding your teeth can wear away the natural structure of your teeth. It also increases your risk of chipping or fracturing your tooth under the forces of bruxism.

How does a night guard prevent teeth grinding?

If you’re waking up in pain, you’re not getting the deep quality sleep you need to stay energized and focused during the day. Fortunately, our family dentists will be able to create a custom night guard to protect your smile while you sleep.

A dental night guard is a removable oral appliance that forms a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. While a sports mouth guard is worn while playing contact sports, a night guard is worn while you sleep.

Do I need a night guard?

If you have bruxism, we highly recommend you get a night guard as soon as possible. Not only does a teeth grinding guard protect your oral health, but it prevents you from needing extensive dental work. The forces exerted on your teeth from bruxism are strong enough to wear away enamel, as well as crack or loosen teeth. A mouth guard for teeth grinding will protect your smile so you won’t need restorative dentistry.

Read more: What happens if you don’t replace missing teeth? >>

A dental night guard will help get rid of the headaches you’ve had upon waking, as well as any jaw pain. Many of our patients appreciate being able to get a good night’s sleep without waking up groggy and in pain.

How can I get a custom night guard?

During your first appointment with us, one of our dentists will take impressions of your teeth to send to the lab. When you return to our office, your night guard will be waiting. The dentist may make slight adjustments to the fit of the night guard so you can breathe and sleep comfortably.

Request an Appointment

If you suspect you have bruxism, schedule an appointment with one of our dentists as soon as possible. The sooner we can get you fitted for a custom night guard, the sooner you can protect your smile from teeth grinding.

Our dentists will be able to determine whether you’re a candidate for a night guard. To schedule your appointment with one of our Grand Rapids dentists, call Contemporary Family Dental at (616) 209-3969.

This blog post has been updated.