Can a Custom Night Guard Help Stop Tooth Grinding?
Tooth grinding is a surprisingly common problem that affects many people. The frustrating part is you may not even realizing that you’re a grinder. At our dental offices in Mobile, Fairhope, Bay Minette, Helena, Semmes, and Hoover, we understand that tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, can most often be experienced during sleep, when you have no recollection of ever doing it. So how do you fix something that you may not even know you do? We’re glad you asked.
Recognize the Signs of Bruxism
Since bruxism can occur during sleep, and there’s no way you can be aware of it while you’re snoozing, knowing the signs can help you identify the problem.
- Flat or chipped teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Waking up with sore jaw muscles
- Neck or facial pain
If notice any of these indicators of bruxism, talk with your dentist about the right treatment for you.
Night Guards for Bruxism
One of the most recommended treatments for those who grind their teeth is a custom night guard. These form-fitting appliances help protect your teeth from damage caused by rubbing them against each other. They can also help position your jaw in a comfortable position and limit your ability to move your jaw around during sleep. Night guards are available either over the counter or from your dentist.
Custom vs. Over The Counter Night Guards
While over the counter night guards tend to cost less, a custom-made night guard from your dentist ends up being the better, most cost-efficient choice. Custom night guards are created using professional molds of your teeth. This means they end up being more comfortable than their drugstore counterparts. Night guards made by a dentist also take your jaw position into consideration. Without adjusting the guard to fit your jaw alignment, you may just end up with more problems. Finally, custom-made, professional night guards tend to last up to 10 years while store-bought, boil and bite guards last for a considerably shorter amount of time.
Other Bruxism Treatments
Night guards are a common treatment for bruxism, but it’s not the only option available. Other treatments to help you stop grinding may include:
- Straightening your teeth with orthodontics
- Reducing stress
- Limit caffeine intake
Tooth grinding isn’t something you need to live with. You can get relief and stop through proper treatment from your dentist. If you’re looking for a solution, or suspect you suffer from bruxism, we welcome you to call our Mobile, Fairhope, Bay Minette, Helena, Semmes, or Hoover dental office. We’ll evaluate your individual situation and talk with you about the best treatment for you.