Bruxism or teeth grinding is a common sleep-related disorder wherein a person involuntarily grinds or clenches their teeth. Bruxism can happen while the person is awake or while sleeping. However, since the person is less aware of their involuntary grinding, the condition can pose more risks for the teeth and jaw.
Studies showed that about 15% of American adolescents have sleep bruxism. With this data, sleep bruxism is more common in children and is also often associated with other health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, sleep apnea, and others.
What are the symptoms of bruxism?
Bruxism is mainly characterized by the involuntary grinding or clenching of the teeth during sleep. However, this does not mean that the person grinds or clenches his or her teeth all throughout the night. Apart from the chewing-like movements, people with sleep bruxism may also feel chronic headache, and jaw and neck pain.
If sleep bruxism is not treated right away, the teeth may suffer significant harm and damage. The occurrence of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) problems also increases.
How to stop bruxism?
There is no specific cause why a person grinds or clenches the teeth involuntarily. The factors that may increase the risk of the condition include increased anxiety, stress, or anger, smoking, caffeine and alcohol consumption, and others.
Wearing a night guard is one of the most popular treatments for bruxism. A night guard is an orthodontic device that helps prevent the surfaces of your teeth from grinding with each other. With this protection, you will be able to minimize the tension building up on the surface of the teeth as it grinds; thus, preventing the teeth from getting cracked or chipped and removing stress on the jaw.
Is wearing a night guard effective?
Wearing a night guard offers you more benefits such as the following:
A night guard is lightweight and comfortable to wear. It does not hinder your eating and speaking. In fact, it helps relieve the stress on the jaw and joints when bruxism occurs; thus, eliminating jaw pain when you wake up.
Grinding your teeth especially when sleeping can wear it down, making it more prone to crack and damage. Wearing a night guard will ensure that your teeth are protected from the pressure brought by the condition.
Aside from protection, night guards are also designed to provide you maximum comfort while sleeping. Your jaw muscles will be more relaxed and no more headaches during the day caused by the involuntary clenching of the teeth. And if you snore, a night guard can also help adjust the position of your teeth and jaw to allow easier passage of air.
Finally, night guards also help save you money. Fixing a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth can be really costly. Not to mention treating jaw pain and other long term consequences of bruxism such as TMJ. Wearing a custom night guard is only a one-time expense that can help you prevent all these costly problems. For more information on night guards contact us at RenovaSmiles.