If you grind your teeth during sleep, it is important to take care of them by protecting yourself with a dental night guard. This will not be the same thing as using mouth guards for sports like football or basketball because these are custom-fitted and can protect your teeth from damage if they experience grinding pressure during sleep due to bruxism.
If you are experiencing teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, it is important to visit your dentist in Calgary and get a night guard. They will be able to identify the root cause of this behavior and recommend a nightguard that can help protect both your jaw muscles from stress damage but also prevent further wear on tooth enamel or other dental work.
The night guard isn’t a generic one you can find in stores. If you need to wear it every night, be sure to get the best quality possible from your dentist or another professional so that it doesn’t irritate your mouth and potentially cause other issues (like TMJ).
A custom-made mouthguard is for people who grind their teeth at night because of stress/anxiety, etc., which often happens when they sleep. You might want this type of protection if grinding causes pain in the jaw area due to muscle clenching; however, not all guards are made equally… some may irritate gums and exacerbate any existing problems like TMJ disorder… something that emergency dental clinics in Calgary often deal with.
Teeth grinding, or teeth clenching without awareness of the person doing it during sleep is a disorder that causes problems to your physical health. People who grind their teeth put 250 pounds per square inch on each tooth which can lead to serious dental issues if not treated properly.
Here are the major signs and some things to be aware of with your teeth grinding.
There is a variety of factors that can contribute to teeth grinding. These include, but are not limited to:
- Sleep apnea
- ADHD in children and teens
- Depression/anxiety disorder(s)
- Poor occlusion or bite (when the upper and lower teeth do not meet correctly)
- Trauma on the mouth/jaw area including chronic or acute injuries.
- Neurotransmitter disruptions, as well as neurodegenerative disorders like Huntington’s disease, have also been associated with bruxism cases while the use of antipsychotic medications may lead an individual down this path too.
Over time, teeth grinding can cause a variety of issues including tooth pain/decay/fractured teeth, yellowing of the enamel, and gums receding.
- Other more serious conditions include facial pain or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
- Teeth grinding is a common condition that can lead to many health problems. Among the most commonly associated conditions are sleep apnea, headaches, and loss of enamel due to abrasion from chewing on hard objects or surfaces.
People who grind their teeth are at higher risk for many health problems, including:
- Restless leg syndrome
- Sleep-disordered breathing (like snoring)
- When you stop breathing when sleeping
- Behavioral problems in children like ADHD [Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] and GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
There are 5 different types of night guards you can choose between.
Most dentists recommend using an over-the-counter mouth guard for 2 weeks, not long-term.
- Other options include a stock mouth guard (over the counter)
- Boil and bite (OTC)
- Soft protective sports appliance worn in your upper teeth only. This is custom fit by a dentist or dental laboratory technician and dual laminate which is thin flexible wire wrapped around hard acrylic shell material that protects both top and bottom front teeth with good retention but may be uncomfortable due to tightness on back molars as well as pressure points when wearing it all night.
- Lastly, there’s the hard acrylic one made up of 4 layers.
Whatever you decide to do, be sure to listen to the recommendations of your dentist. They can guide you throughout this process to ensure your teeth are properly protected when you sleep.