Do you wake up with a sore jaw or a headache most mornings? These could be signs that you may benefit from a custom-fit night guard.
At Virginia H. Ellis, DDS Dental Corp. in Orinda, California, Dr. Ellis, a skilled general and cosmetic dentist, recommends night guards to her patients who grind their teeth at night.
Effects of bruxism
Bruxism is a condition in which you grind or clench your teeth without realizing you’re doing it. You might do this during the day when you’re stressed or at night while you sleep. Over time, this repetitive teeth grinding can lead to:
- Worn tooth enamel
- Tooth sensitivity
- Jaw pain and tightness
- Neck pain
- Facial pain
- Ear pain
- Fractured teeth
- Loose teeth
Bruxism can also cause sleep disruptions for you and anyone sleeping next to you. In some cases, loud grinding noises may wake up you or your partner. Both children and adults can suffer from bruxism symptoms.
How night guards protect your teeth from the effects of bruxism
One of the easiest ways to address bruxism is with a custom-made oral appliance. Night guards are comfortable to wear and help keep your teeth separated while you sleep.
While you still might try to grind your teeth while you’re asleep, the night guard will help prevent damage to the surfaces of your teeth. The night guard will also provide a cushion of sorts to help take pressure off your jaw if you clench it.
Using night guards
Wearing a night guard can help you sleep better, avoid pain, and protect your teeth.
Additionally, protecting your teeth now will help you avoid costly dental work in the future. If you ignore the problem, you may need to get dental caps and veneers to correct problems like chipped or broken teeth. And in severe cases, you could end up with TMJ problems.
If you have any of the symptoms of bruxism, book an appointment online or over the phone with Virginia H. Ellis, DDS Dental Corp. to see if a night guard can help you.