Do you have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth? Do you experience regular headaches and jaw pain? Do your teeth and mouth hurt when you eat or drink something hot? If so, you may be suffering from a condition called bruxism.
You may have bruxism if you excessively grind, clench, or gnash your teeth, either when you are asleep or unconsciously when you are awake. This condition can lead to greater health problems, such as jaw pain, TMJ disorder, sleep apnea, enamel loss, and tooth pain and sensitivity.
The most common cause of bruxism is stress, but certain medications and particular personality types may encourage the condition as well. Although you can work to stop these underlying causes of bruxism, doing so can be a long and challenging process. In the meantime, it is important for you to use a nightguard to reduce your bruxism symptoms and prevent further oral health problems.
A nightguard is a piece of plastic similar to a retainer that covers the surfaces in your mouth that touch when you bite. The guard can be worn on the top or bottom set of teeth and can be customized to comfortably fit the unique shape of your teeth and bite. A nightguard goes by many names. You may hear a dentist call it a mouthguard, bite splint, dental guard, occlusal guard, or nocturnal bite guard. There are various kinds of nightguards you can get, whether hard or soft, over-the-counter or custom-made. The harder the nightguard, the more durable and effective it will be. If you have a severe case of bruxism, a hard nightguard may be the best option for you. Although softer nightguards may be more comfortable and cheaper, they aren’t as effective nor as long-lasting.
Although you can find a one-size-fits-all nightguard over-the-counter for a low cost, this option will likely cause your bite to shift. It is far wiser and much more effective to use a nightguard custom-made by a dentist using an impression of your teeth.
There are many important reasons you should investigate getting a nightguard if you suspect you may have bruxism, whether to get rid of your pesky headaches and jaw pain or to prevent future health problems.
If you’re looking for a dentist who can help you determine if you have bruxism and need a nightguard, look no further! The team at Salling & Tate is skilled in both general and cosmetic dentistry. Think of us as a one-stop shop for all your dental needs! Give us a call today at 910-256-9040 or click here to schedule your next appointment online.