Nightguards are the best way to defend yourself from bruxism. Bruxism is a condition that affects as many as 10% of adults and 15% of children at some point during their lifetime. Patients with bruxism clench or grind their teeth while they sleep, and often occurs repeatedly during a single period of sleep.
The actions associated with bruxism can cause a number of problems for patients including disrupted sleep, pain and damage to teeth. At Vandana Sood DMD in Leesburg, VA, we offer custom-made mouth guards, designed specifically for your unique bite.
What are the Symptoms of Bruxism?
Because bruxism occurs when you sleep, unless your partner notices you are clenching or grinding your teeth, it can be difficult to determine if you have the condition.
However, there are some symptoms which could indicate that you are experiencing periods of bruxism while you sleep. These include:
- Teeth that appear eroded or particularly ‘blunt’.
- Teeth may also appear chipped or loose.
- Worn tooth enamel.
- Increased tooth sensitivity.
- Pain in the jaw, face or inner ear.
- Damage from chewing the inside of your cheeks.
- Indentations on your tongue.
- Persistent headaches, especially first thing in the morning.
What Causes Bruxism?
It is not always known what causes bruxism, but studies have shown that the condition is usually linked to stress or anxiety.
Grinding or clenching your teeth in your sleep is something that you cannot control. However, experts suggest that calming techniques and some anti-anxiety medications can help to alleviate the condition.
Protecting your teeth during periods of bruxism can significantly improve the side effects associated with the condition, and the most popular choice of treatment is a dental nightguard.
What are Dental Nightguards?
Nightguards provide a solution that help to protect the teeth from damage caused by clenching and grinding, providing relief from some of the effects of bruxism.
Nightguards are rubber devices that are worn over the teeth to prevent them from coming into direct contact while you sleep. There are some one-size-fits-all guards available over the counter, but for the best results and the most comfortable fit, you should invest in a custom-fit guard, created by a professional dental lab.
How Do Dental Nightguards Work?
A dental nightguard does more than just provide a rubber barrier between your teeth. It also works to reduce symptoms associated with bruxism by:
- allowing your jaw muscles to align properly, which will prevent your teeth from locking together.
- providing a cushion between the teeth, which will help to prevent damage and reduce the headaches and jaw aches associated with bruxism.
- relaxing your jaws, which will reduce tension and muscle spasms.
Which Type of Nightguard is Right for Me?
When you choose to have a custom-fit nightguard, you will also have some options available to you. Which nightguard is right for you will largely depend on the severity of your bruxism.
To help determine which nightguard is right for you, you will attend a consultation appointment with Dr. Sood. She will examine your teeth and talk to you about your symptoms, in order to determine if you are suffering from bruxism and which is the right nightguard solution to help alleviate your symptoms.
If you are experiencing the unpleasant side effects of bruxism, or if you are concerned that you may have the condition, but would like a diagnosis confirmed, Dr. Sood and her team can help. If you would like to find out more about bruxism or nightguards, or to schedule a consultation, please make contact with our general and cosmetic dentistry practice today. Call us at 703-940-9900.