Updated: Dec 7, 2022
Teeth grinding and clenching, also known as Bruixism, is very common. It can be painful and destructive to teeth long term. It is important to see your dentist for an accurate diagnosis. Luckily, there are plenty of night guards for Bruxism on the market that can help anyone who clenches and grinds their teeth while sleeping.
Bruxism: Symptoms, Side Effects, Causes
Bruxism is common and most people are not even aware of this habit and its side effects. Most common symptoms:
Waking up with dull headaches
Waking up with jaw pain or muscle soreness
Difficulty open your mouth/jaw
Fatigue from lack of sleep
Occasional teeth grinding may not cause any real concerns, but long-term, consistent Bruxism will lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, worn down tooth enamel, and in severe cases, loss of teeth.
The exact cause is unknown, but is most commonly linked to stress and anxiety . Other causes may also be alcohol use, cigarettes, caffeine, sleep apnea, snoring, an abnormal bite, and crooked teeth.
Most cases of Bruxism can easily be treated by wearing a night guard for teeth while you sleep. They serve as a barrier between your teeth. When you clench your jaw, the night guard helps to lighten the tension and serves as a cushion to the jaw muscles. It helps to prevent jaw pain and protect the teeth.
Night guards for teeth can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription or can be custom made by your dentist.
Fitting your Night Guard for Teeth
The most common night guard options are:
“One-size-fits-all.” There are over-the-counter mouth guards you can buy that will not be custom fitted. These may work for the occasional teeth grinder and are the lowest-cost option.
Made in lab by your dentist. You can get mouth guards right from your dentist. These offer the most accurate fit because they are made with your impression in a lab. Being custom made to your mouth, you will be able to quickly adapt and use the appliance. Higher-cost but long term more durable.
If you suspect you may suffer from Bruxism, it can easily be treated with night guards. It’s important to see your dentist for an accurate diagnosis and ideal treatment plan. It is important to also rule out sleep apnea since often patients with bruxism also suffer from sleep apnea.