Life presents us with new stressors almost every day, it’s inevitable.
Stress can take many forms and affects each person differently. While some turn to exercise as a way to release some stress, others begin grinding their teeth, whether they realize it or not.
If you frequently find yourself complaining about severe headaches or a sore jaw, it may be a sign that you have a condition called bruxism. This condition causes you to unwittingly grind, clench, or gnash your teeth and can happen while you’re awake or sleeping.
Over time, grinding teeth can cause extensive damage to the enamel and structure of the teeth, leading to dental health problems such as decay and tooth sensitivity.
If you believe you might have bruxism, consider getting a nightguard. Wearing a nightguard can help protect the teeth from grinding and clenching.
What Are Nightguards?
Similar to a retainer, a nightguard is a transparent piece of plastic that can be either hard or soft.
This appliance is used to cover the biting surfaces and can be worn on either the top or bottom teeth. No individual has the same biting pattern, so the nightguard needs to be custom-made using a mold.
There are two main types of nightguards: a boil and bite guard and a dentist-created guard.
Boil and bite guards can be done at home by placing the previously bought mouthguard in boiling water until it softens then biting down on it to create an impression of your teeth. This type of nightguard is typically thick and bulky and forces the jaw into an uncomfortable position.
On the other hand, custom-fitted guards that you get at your dentist are much more effective in treating bruxism and ensuring that the fit is comfortable and not unnecessarily bulky.
Benefits of Using Dental Nightguards
People wear nightguards for different reasons, whether it’s to reduce jaw pain or protect the teeth from wearing down.
Nightguards act as a barrier between the top and bottom teeth, so when you grind your teeth, the impact is cushioned. This helps reduce the stress and tension placed on the muscles and jaw joints, causing fewer issues with pain and headaches.
A proper nightguard is essential in preventing tooth damage caused by clenching and grinding. When people unconsciously clench their teeth, it can result in chipped teeth and sensitivity due to worn-down enamel.
Bruxism is one of the most common causes of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which is a condition where the muscles and ligaments used for chewing become tight and sore.
The joint connecting the jaw and skull also experiences a type of dysfunction due to the pressure of grinding teeth.
Wearing a nightguard eases muscle fatigue and tension, relieving you from the pain of TMJ.
Professionally Fitted Nightguards at Costello Family Dentistry
Do you find yourself frequently waking up with a sore jaw and a headache?
Chipped and overly sensitive teeth, sore jaws, headaches, and tense facial muscles are all signs of bruxism. When you’re under a great deal of stress, your jaw clenches during your sleep, which can cause a handful of oral health problems.
Although it may take time to adjust to the feeling of wearing a nightguard, the appliance can greatly stop bruxism’s negative effects, providing relief from the pain and protecting your teeth from further damage.
Get in touch with us to learn more about how nightguards can help you and book your next appointment today.