Approximately 10% of adults and up to 15% of children grind their teeth at night. Unfortunately, most of them don’t even realize they are doing it. This condition is known as bruxism and it usually manifests itself during sleep.
Bruxism may be a chronic condition or it may develop because of a stressor and resolve itself when the trigger is removed. Regardless of why it happens and how it manifests, Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS and Dr. Pliszczak at Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS can help you alleviate the symptoms of bruxism with the help of dental night guards.
How Can Night Guards Help People With Bruxism
Night mouthguards are a type of tough, plastic trays similar to clear aligners. They are worn on the teeth before bedtime so that if you clench your jaw while asleep, they can protect your teeth, jaw, and mouth from damage.
|Enamel Loss: If you grind your teeth constantly, the enamel on your teeth will wear off. This will result in teeth sensitivity and a higher risk of cavities.
|Fractured Teeth: The pressure from clenching your teeth can be more than 250 pounds. Considering that you only exert up to 40 pounds of pressure on your teeth while chewing, it is no surprise that bruxism can lead to tooth fractures.
|Receded Gums: When you grind your teeth, it can cause your teeth to shift and cause gum recession. This can lead to bigger gum pockets as well as expose the tooth root. This can lead to increased sensitivity and periodontal diseases.
|TMJ Disorders: Clenching the jaw puts a lot of pressure on the twin hinges that connect your jaw to the skull. This can cause inflammation in the joints, resulting in a popping or grating noise, chronic jaw pain, limited jaw mobility, and persistent headaches.
To prevent these issues, we recommend the use of night guards. A night guard can absorb the force exerted by the jaw and prevent your teeth from damage.
Night Guards and Sleep Apnea
Night guards are also an effective remedy for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleeping disorder that occurs when your muscles at the back of the throat block your air passage while sleeping. This causes a cessation of breathing, causing the brain to wake the person up to resume breathing.
Episodes of sleep apnea can occur hundreds of times in a single night in severe cases. This means restless sleep as well as oxygen deprivation in the blood, which in the long term can result in serious health disorders like heart attack, stroke, and irregular heartbeat.
A night guard and sleep appliances can prevent your upper and lower teeth from meeting and reposition the jaw so that your airway remains open while you sleep.
Procedure for Getting Night Mouthguards
At Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS, we will make an impression of your teeth. This impression will be sent to a dental lab that will fabricate a custom-fitted acrylic night guard for you. Once the device is ready, we will place it into your mouth to check the fit. If there are some adjustments needed, we will make them before you can take it home with you.
Caring for Your Night Guards
Here are some ways you can care for your night guards:
|Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to clean your night guards.
|Before putting your night guards back on, make sure to brush your teeth to prevent bacteria from breeding in your mouth.
|Regularly check your mouthguards for holes and tears.
|After washing the mouthguards, allow them to dry and then place them in a ventilated box.
|Bring your night guard to your dental examination so that we can ensure they fit perfectly.
If you suffer from teeth grinding, it is important that you come to us so that we can create a custom-fit night guard for you. This will ensure the continued health of your teeth and allow you to have a restful sleep. Contact us today at (315) 800-5020 to schedule an appointment.