Do you wake up with terrible headaches and a sore jaw? Are your teeth flattened and worn down? If so, you may be in the habit of grinding your teeth. Nighttime bruxism, or teeth grinding, is when you unconsciously grind your teeth during sleep. This can do loads of damage to not only your teeth but to your jaw as well. That’s why it’s crucial to take action early on before too much damage is done.
One of the best ways to combat grinding your teeth at night is by wearing a night guard. A night guard is a mouthpiece you wear while you sleep that protects your teeth from the dangers of bruxism. They will prevent you from doing any damage to your teeth or jaw from grinding during sleep.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the technical term for grinding your teeth. Most often, the grinding is done unconsciously, so you might not even be aware that you have this issue. Regardless of whether you’re aware of grinding your teeth or not, bruxism is a potentially dangerous condition to have. Grinding your teeth can lead to countless problems such as:
- Tooth pain
- Jaw soreness
- TMJ disorder
- Tooth damage (chipped teeth, fractures, loose teeth)
- Neck pain
The force from grinding overworks your jaw muscles and causes you to wake up feeling sore. The muscle tenderness from your jaw, teeth, and neck all contribute to your headaches. If the damage is severe enough, you may need to get crowns, veneers, or other restorations to fix your teeth. Night guards will not only lessen your bruxism symptoms but also will save you money in the long run.
Why Night Guards Are Important
Night guards are one of the best ways to reduce and even eliminate your nighttime grinding. Your dentist will simply take an impression of your teeth, send them to a lab, and have a night guard specifically designed for you. Wearing your night guard while you sleep will help protect your teeth from the dangers of grinding and may also prevent you from grinding your teeth altogether. This will help get rid of the headaches you’ve been experiencing as well as any pain or discomfort from your jaw or teeth. Night guards will overall improve the quality of your sleep and help you wake up feeling refreshed instead of groggy and in pain.
Teeth grinding is a hard habit to kick especially if you’re under a lot of stress. Night guards can help you prevent any further damage from bruxism while also giving you a good night’s sleep. Reach out to your dentist to talk about getting night guards to help relieve your symptoms.
To learn more about Grand Rapids dentist Dr. Kent Wildern and the services we offer, please contact us here or call us at (616) 364-8716. Kent Wildern DDS and his dental team provide patients with optimal care while making them feel right at home.