If you grind or clench your teeth while you sleep, you are not alone. It is estimated that about 10% of the adult population and 15% of children in the US experience bruxism. It is difficult to stop because it’s an involuntary action. However, it can be controlled with the use of a dental night guard.
A dental night guard is a thin device that covers the biting surfaces of the teeth while you are asleep. The device is transparent and barely noticeable. It prevents the top and bottom teeth from grinding against each other. There are numerous benefits to wearing a dental night guard including getting a better night’s sleep.
Dental Night Guards Improve Sleeping Patterns
Bruxism often causes pain which disrupts your sleeping patterns due to discomfort. When you are in pain or uncomfortable the quality of sleep you get is less than ideal. A dental night guard lets the muscles around the jaws relax. This allows you to enjoy a more peaceful, stress-free sleep.
Night Guards Ease Oral Discomfort
Teeth grinding may cause headaches, jaw pain, facial discomfort, or insomnia. A dental night guard covers sensitive nerves in the teeth and prevents upper and lower teeth from coming into contact with one another. Those who start wearing a dental night guard often begin to wake up refreshed and more relaxed. Patients who wear the device usually notice a huge difference in how sensitive their jaw and teeth are. The device helps protect sensitive teeth and preserve enamel on the teeth.
Reduces Frequency of Headaches
If you experience tension headaches or chronic headaches, it can be due to bruxism. When you constantly grind and clench your teeth it can cause tension in the ears, jaws, and it can cause headaches. Many people who grind their teeth at night are awakened in the wee hours of the morning with surges of pain in their heads. By using a nightguard, these types of headaches can be reduced. For many people, they are eliminated altogether along with the pressure in the jaw and teeth. This can also mean fewer disruptions to your sleep.
Common Signs You Need a Dental Night Guard
You may be awakened by your own teeth-grinding, but sometimes your partner or spouse notices it first. Their sleep may be disturbed because of your teeth grinding. Another common sign of bruxism is soreness in the jaw and teeth. You may also notice damage to the enamel on your teeth. Your teeth may become more sensitive as grinding wears down the enamel exposing nerves, causing sensitivity, and ultimately decay.
Won’t a nightguard be uncomfortable?
When you think of a nightguard you may mistakenly think of the large, bulky mouthpieces worn by athletes. But a dental night guard is barely even noticeable. They are custom-fitted to your teeth to blend well with your natural teeth. Chances are you won’t even feel it. This will help you get a good night’s sleep regularly. Getting good, quality sleep also provides you with many other health benefits.
Contact a Marietta Dental Professional
Whether you are sure that you experience bruxism, or you just suspect it, schedule an appointment with your Marietta dental office. Dr. Caceres can examine your mouth and teeth to determine if bruxism is damaging your teeth. He can fit you with a custom dental night guard that will be comfortable. It can drastically improve the quality of your sleep and protect your teeth. Call us today to schedule your consultation.