If you are active in contact sports, you are probably aware of mouthguards. Athletic mouthguards protect your teeth, jaw, tongue, and other structures from knocks and blows in the face, minimizing the risk of injury.
There is yet another type of mouthguard, but it is worn at night. Patients suffering from chronic teeth grinding and clenching, technically called bruxism, should wear a nightguard to protect their smile from dental damage and pain. Alpine Family Dental in Kalispell, Montana, offers customized nightguards to safeguard your oral health from the destructive nature of bruxism.
Grinding your teeth occasionally is normal, especially when stressed or anxious. However, chronically grinding and clenching your teeth may have severe consequences for your oral health. While the bad habit of chronic teeth grinding occurs subconsciously when sleeping, the symptoms are hard to ignore.
The common symptoms of bruxism include:
It’s hard to diagnose bruxism because the wearer is unaware of it. However, a dentist can quickly notice signs of bruxism (like dental damage) during oral exams. We usually recommend a nightguard to protect the upper and lower teeth from wearing out each other. The dental guard absorbs and spreads the grinding forces to make the habit less painful. It also helps with jaw disorders by relaxing joints and muscles, preventing unnecessary movements that cause tightness and inflammation.
Although the exact cause of bruxism isn’t known, stress, misaligned teeth, and sleeping disorders like sleep apnea have been linked to this poor oral habit. While there is no quick fix for bruxism, identifying the trigger can help eliminate the habit.
As we work to identify the root cause of your bruxism, a nightguard is an effective solution to manage symptoms and prevent damage to the teeth, jaw joints, and other structures. A nightguard is a removable dental splint, only worn at night and removed when you wake up.
Several types of nightguards are available for bruxism. These include:
While you can buy a bruxism nightguard from the store, it’s not the same thing you get from a dentist. Dentists offer customized occlusal splints made with durable materials and precise measurements for optimal comfort and effectiveness.