Many people grind their teeth subconsciously in their sleep.
Medically referred to as bruxism, this condition affects 1 in 10 humans (oftentimes totally unbeknownst to the person doing it). Sometimes the only chance of recognizing this condition is the sign of worn out teeth. The repercussions can sneak up on you and wreak havoc on your time and wallet.
Teeth grinding takes place when the upper jaw and the lower jaw move back and forth with a great force that tends to flatten out the teeth at the point of contact over time. This action takes quite a while to wear out the teeth because our teeth are so strong. But father time always wins in the end and sure enough, if the teeth go unprotected for too long, they’ll eventually wear down and break.
This wear and tear leads to sensitive teeth and much more due to the complete wearing out of the enamel. This exposes the nerve endings of the tooth to its external environment. Ouch! But, will a night guard stop teeth grinding? The short answer is no. However, it will protect the teeth from the effects and damages of teeth grinding and jaw clenching. These long term effects can be not only painful, physically altering appearance but can be financially devastating down the road if not prevented by wearing a dental night guard.
How Do I Stop Grinding My Teeth Without a Night Guard?
Hell-bent on not wearing a dental night guard? We understand. Getting used to wearing a foreign object in your mouth night after night can be no fun at all. There are some natural remedies you can try to relieve your teeth grinding and jaw clenching. These include
- Hot towel/compress
- Taking magnesium daily
- Jaw muscle massage
- Turmeric milk
- Epsom salt baths
- Yoga/Meditation to lower stress levels
However, if the natural remedies just aren’t cutting it, we strongly suggest getting fitted for a custom made mouth guard (made from a dental impression of your unique dental anatomy) so that you can ensure complete comfort with the fit.
What is the purpose of a night guard?
To combat this condition, night guards were invented.
So, what are night guards? A night guard is a mouthpiece that is worn on the teeth to offer protection to the enamel during a grinding session, whether it’s happening subconsciously or not.
What type of night guard is best?
One that is custom made for you from a dental impression of your teeth.
These night guards are usually not standard in size due to the fact that there are different degrees of bruxism, and different mouth types.
Night guards are not the sexiest things on earth – it is therefore not a surprise that so many people find the idea of using a night guard off-putting.
But if you don’t want to deal with the pain of losing a tooth or expensive teeth restorations and repairs, wearing a dental night guard is the greatest solution.
So does a night guard stop teeth grinding?
No. It does not.
Misconceptions in the medical world are unavoidable. Getting to know what night guards are and why one has to wear a night guard is not enough to separate fact from fiction.
In this case, the misconception is that night guards stop the teeth from grinding. The truth of the matter is that bruxism is a natural occurrence whose actual cause is yet to be established. However, several theories regarding the cause of bruxism have been raised, one of them being stress.
The lack of an established cause has relatively led to the lack of an established cure. There is no viable cure for bruxism. Treatments such as biofeedback hypnosis and Botox have been used in combating Bruxism, but the most effective treatment so far is the use of a night guard.
The role of a dental night guard is essential in prevention
A night guard protects the teeth from damage due to grinding rather than stopping the grinding itself. Since tooth grinding is natural and quite unavoidable during sleep, a night guard covers the enamel, protecting it with a layer of special material. This protects the enamel from damage during tooth grinding.
With this in mind, it is key to note that bruxism is a condition better diagnosed by a dentist.
However, there are some pointers that might help you know whether you have the condition
- waking up with pain in the facial region and teeth
- cracks and fractures on the teeth.
- jaw pain
- popping or clicking in the jaw
- partner hears you grinding your teeth at night
If you have these signs when you wake up, it is a good idea to visit your dentist as soon as possible to avoid permanently damaging your teeth. The dentist will recommend a night guard for you that will effectively protect your teeth from the grinding force of your jaw movement as you sleep.
If you’re looking to protect your teeth and don’t want to pay the dentist hundreds of dollars, let us help you!
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