Teeth Grinding Night Guards

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common condition in which an individual grinds or clenches their teeth excessively. It often happens during sleep and can lead to various health issues and symptoms. People who grind their teeth at night are more likely to develop other problems, including sleep apnea and loud, disruptive snoring.

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Side Effects of Teeth Clenching

The damage to your teeth can be considerable if you grind or clench your teeth at night. The constant stress on the teeth can wear them down, making them shorter and less effective for chewing foods. Worn enamel makes teeth more susceptible to cavities and decay. Grinding your teeth also contributes to cracked or chipped teeth that can lead to dental pulp exposure, which requires root canal treatment.

Patients with bruxism often suffer from poor sleep or sleep deprivation. Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and falling asleep during the day are common side effects of teeth grinding. Daily headaches, including migraines, can become debilitating. The impact on your work and social life can be dramatic and may grow more severe over the years.

How to Know if You Need a Night Guard

Many bruxism symptoms may respond well to a night guard, including:

  • Flattened, cracked, or loose teeth
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods
  • Teeth that are worn down
  • Headaches on waking
  • Jaw, face, or neck pain
  • Earaches without other explanation
  • Aching or tight jaw muscles
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • Recurring headaches, particularly around the temples
  • Insomnia or difficulty staying asleep
  • Your partner can hear you grinding your teeth at night

Bruxism Night Guards

Night guards, sometimes called occlusal guards or dental splints, are designed to protect the teeth from the effects of tooth grinding or clenching. They are usually made of a plastic material and worn over either the upper or lower teeth while asleep. The night guard absorbs the grinding forces and prevents the upper and lower teeth from meeting and damaging each other.

Over-the-counter night guards are available but are not always safe or effective. Dr. Jordan can design and craft a custom night guard that fits securely over your teeth to cushion them from damage. A custom-made night guard is far more comfortable and safer than an over-the-counter guard.

Risks of Internet Night Guards

Night guards or dental splints purchased over the InternetInternet are similar to the “one size fits all” versions you may see in a drugstore. Although inexpensive and convenient, they are often ineffective and can even be dangerous.

The risks of ordering a teeth-grinding night guard over the InternetInternet include the following:

  • Improper Fit: Night guards ordered online rely on at-home impression kits that are not reliable or accurate, leading to uncomfortable night guards. They could cause difficulty breathing or misalignment of the jaw.
  • Inadequate Protection: Many Internet and over-the-counter night guards are made of cheaper, less durable materials that do not fully absorb the forces of bruxism. The result may be continued pain, wear, and dental complications.
  • No Professional Oversight: Without a dental professional evaluating your teeth grinding or clenching, you may not get the right type of night guard to help you. Dr. Jordan oversees all her patients’ progress and periodically assesses their progress to ensure their night guard fits appropriately and adjusts as needed.
  • Misdiagnosis: You may be grinding your teeth at night, but without an evaluation by your dentist or a prosthodontist, you may not realize you have underlying issues that require treatment beyond a night guard.

Benefits of Custom Night Guards

Custom night guards offer many benefits that can only be obtained through a dental specialist. As a prosthodontist, Dr. Jordan can evaluate your teeth, gums, jaw alignment, and symptoms to recommend the most effective option for you. Among the benefits for Dr. Jordan’s patients are:

  • 3D printed night guards for a comfortable, precision fit
  • Jaw muscle relaxation
  • Custom guards are safer than inexpensive, generic options
  • Pain relief, including reduced headaches, jaw pain, and facial pain
  • Improved sleep
  • Prevents damage to the teeth due to grinding
  • Custom night guards are less bulky and easier to wear
  • Preservation of dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, and veneers
  • Although a custom night guard may initially cost more, it is more durable than a generic version, lasting years longer than over-the-counter versions
  • Custom night guards offer superior results and can protect you from serious dental issues resulting from untreated bruxism.
  • Night guards can help minimize the risk of developing TMJ arthritis.

Dr. Jordan offers custom night guards based on precision digital images of the teeth and jaws. Our in-office 3D printer creates high-quality, durable night guards in just a few hours for your convenience and comfort. If you experience bruxism, we can help with a custom night guard. Contact our office at Santa Rosa Office Phone Number 707-544-2811 to schedule a consultation.

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