What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a disorder that most patients have. It is a situation where the patient grinds teeth together, especially at night. The consequences of teeth grinding are evident over time. This habit should be stopped at childhood by a pediatric dentist. However, the older one gets, the worse the problem might become. Many adults still suffer from bruxism. Besides that, it is an involuntary problem, which means patients are not even aware of the grinding problem.
What Causes Bruxism?
The precise causes of teeth grinding and face clenching have not been determined. Different patients experience it differently. Still, stress and overall anxiety in life have been known to be risk factors. When stressed, the facial muscles constrict and the clenching goes hand in hand with the grinding of teeth. The force of a clenched face pushes together the upper and lower teeth. It may then result in a movement of grinding that grates down the enamel of teeth.
The best way to know you are a victim of teeth grinding is to consider the symptoms. Some of them include:
- Hypersensitive teeth
- Thinning enamel – this then leads to duller teeth color.
- Flattened teeth – due to wearing out.
- Pain in the jaw – it also manifests in the facial muscles.
- Headaches and toothaches.
- Cracked and chipped teeth.
What Are Mouthguards?
They are oral appliances that are used for protecting teeth. Most people know if mouthguards as teeth protectors for sporting activities. People involved in high-contact sports like boxing, football, and rugby, are beneficiaries of mouthguards.
These types of mouthguards feature a plastic-like material that Kay’s over the upper teeth. This provides an extra layer of protection for teeth against external impact. Only in unique cases will a dentist prepare a teeth protector for the lower teeth.
However, a dentist in Chicago IL will tell you that mouthguards serve a greater purpose in dentistry than that. Some types are specially made for sporting, but other mouthguards for teeth grinding treatment. This type of mouthguard is referred to as nocturnal bite plate or bite splint. They are specially created to protect teeth from the effects of teeth grinding.
More about Nocturnal Bite Plate
These appliances can also be termed as dental night guards. They are worn over teeth at night to shield them from the damage of bruxism. The nocturnal bite plate is different from the traditional mouthguard from how they are made. They feature a sturdy resin material. The appliance is also customized as per your teeth impressions, which is not usually the case with most traditional mouthguards.
The bruxism mouthguard for sleeping covers either the lower or upper teeth. The thickness of the material you choose ultimately depends on when you experience teeth grinding. For some people, it can also occur in the daytime as well as the night. Typically, mouthguards for night usage are thicker than for daytime usage.
How Does A Night Mouthguard for Bruxism Work?
The night teeth protectors are there to cover the surface of your teeth. This means that they protect the teeth from damage caused by night grinding. However, they may not do much to stop the grinding. That may involve a different treatment that your dentist will guide you through.
The role of night mouthguards is to absorb the pressure that is exerted when the facial muscles clench. As the upper and lower jaw come together and cause grinding, the mouthguard absorbs the pressure. This is what stops your teeth from wearing down.
Do Mouthguards Cure Bruxism?
As the precise cause of this condition is not certain, the treatment options vary. Curing bruxism is not an easy process. It takes a balance of several treatment options to alleviate the pain levels and reduce damage.
Mouthguards can only but protect your teeth from getting damaged. Besides, they even out the pressure exerted on teeth by dispersing it. This may relieve some tension on your Jaws and facial muscles. However, mouthguards should not be considered a cure for bruxism.
Talking to your dentist about your grinding problem at night is the best solution. For one, it will help you have a custom-fitted mouthguard for the night that will better protect your teeth. Further, your dentist will also recommend other solutions to help deal with your underlying causes of bruxism.
The best thing you can do for yourself is relaxing. Relaxing is a nice way to unwind and let go off of the stress that is largely associated with teeth grinding and face clenching.