Does your mouth and jaw hurt when you first wake up in the morning? Are you suffering from unexplained jaw pain and are starting to notice that your teeth look worn down or chipped? If you are struggling with these symptoms, there is a good chance that you suffer from a dental condition known simply as bruxism, which means that you grind or clench your teeth at night.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF NIGHT GUARDS?
While there are many different causes for bruxism, the important consideration is to stop the damage and the associated pain with a nighttime mouth guard. At El Paso Modern Dentistry, we like to fit our patients with a custom night guard to help them stop grinding their teeth at night, and find relief from the associated pain and discomfort of bruxism.
BENEFITS OF NIGHTTIME MOUTHGUARDS
While night mouthguards are great for patients who struggle with bruxism, that is not the only thing they are effective in treating. We also like to recommend a nighttime mouth guard to patients who struggle with snoring and problems with their temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This can help reposition the mouth and the jaw, minimizing the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction. For patients who snore, it can help adjust the position of the jaw, reducing the instances of snoring.
However, as a treatment for bruxism, a night guard can be extremely helpful. The problem with bruxism is that it cannot only damage your teeth, but it can also negatively impact your quality of life. People who suffer from bruxism may have teeth that have visibly started to wear down and chip. The enamel may be thinning due to the constant grinding and clenching. They may also wake up with headaches and pain coming from their jaw. They may also have an unexplained tooth or jaw pain. Their sleep may also suffer, too.
The causes for bruxism may vary, but stress can often be a major trigger for it. Younger people, such as children, may be more likely to have it. Genetics can also lead to grinding and clenching of your teeth. Certain medications, such as antidepressants can cause bruxism, as can tobacco products and alcohol. Finally, people with certain neurological or other disorders may be more likely to grind their teeth. This includes epilepsy, sleep apnea, and gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD).
HOW MOUTHGUARDS CAN HELP YOU
Mouth guards can be incredibly beneficial to those who have bruxism. They are very effective as a cushion to the individual who clenches and grinds their teeth. While the night guard does not stop the bruxism from occurring, it can act as a buffer between the teeth. This takes the pain off the jaw and the teeth and can help prevent lasting damage from occurring. It is important that you get fitted for a custom night guard at our office to ensure the best possible outcome. A poorly fitting night guard can lead to more pain and discomfort, but when we fit you with a customized one, you can be confident that you have one that will be secure in your mouth and will be helpful against your grinding and clenching.