Boise Dentist

Imagine waking up to discover you had ground your teeth while sleeping to the extent of hurting yourself. This is called bruxism. As strange as it may look to many people, bruxism is a common occurrence. You may also grind your teeth unconsciously while you are awake. However, it is more common during sleep than in the daytime, and nocturnal bruxism is among the most common sleep disorder. The conventional solution to bruxism is for the dentist to recommend a nightguard. This will keep your jaws apart and prevent them from grinding against themselves. But, night guards have more benefits than preventing bruxism. Here we will discuss all the beneficial use of a night guard and why you must regularly wear your guard if your dentist recommended it. But first, let's look at the causes of bruxism.

What Causes Bruxism?

The cause of bruxism is not fully understood yet, but experts believe a central nervous system disorder may cause it. Also, bruxism may occur due to misalignment between the upper jaw and the lower jaw, a missed tooth, or a crook tooth. Medical conditions like Parkinson's disease may be responsible, so are habits like smoking and alcoholism. Use of certain medications, sleep apnea, fatigue, and stress have all been linked to bruxism. In children, bruxism may occur to give room for the growth of permanent teeth. Hyperactivity disorder may also cause the condition in children.

How to Treat Bruxism

If you suffer daytime bruxism, self-discipline and more awareness may help you reduce the occurrence. But you will have little control over what your teeth do while you sleep. However, avoiding stress, fatigue, and certain medication may help some people. Unfortunately, most people with nocturnal bruxism will need night guards to stop the teeth from grinding themselves.

Why Wear Night Guard

Your dentist may recommend night guard if other interventions failed or showed little chance of success. Nightguards are worn at night before going to bed, and they serve as covers for the teeth and gum. The guards will prevent upper jaws from touching the lower one, hence keeping the teeth apart. Even though people may feel uncomfortable putting it on every night, but if you use your night guard regularly, you can enjoy the following benefits:

It Improves Oral Health

The outer layer of your tooth is called the enamel. This protects the sensitive inner part. Teeth grinding may lead to wear of the enamel. This may make your teeth become brunt, shorter, and disfigured. Worst still, wear of the enamel may lead to tooth sensitivity. Hence, a nightguard will promote better oral health, prevent tooth fracture or chipping, and tooth sensitivity.

Prevents Headache

One of the major symptoms of bruxism is morning headache. After grinding your teeth all night, you may wake up to a headache. Hence, preventing nocturnal bruxism by using a nightguard before going to bed will also prevent headaches attributed to the sleep disorder.

Prevents TMJ Pain

One of the worst effects of teeth grinding is temporomandibular joint pain or TMJ pain. This pain occurs at the joints that connect the jaw with the skull, called the temporomandibular joint. Each time you chew or grind your teeth, the joints are involved. Pains in the TMJ may be mild or severe, and while it may go on its own, you will need a pain reliever in most cases. In some severe cases, surgery may be required. However, you may prevent TMJ pain caused by bruxism by wearing a nightguard.

Improves Quality of Sleep

Grinding your teeth while you sleep affects the quality of your sleep. If you wake up at midnight with a headache, you may not sleep conveniently again till morning. Also, other effects of bruxism like tooth chipping, tooth fracture, and TMJ pain may affect sleep. Hence, using a nightguard to prevent these conditions will also increase the quality of your sleep.

Stops Snoring

The relationship between bruxism and snoring may not be clear, but they are certainly connected. Many experts believe that snoring may increase the chance of bruxism. However, if you suffer bruxism, you also have a higher chance of snoring. When your teeth grind against themselves, it may affect the way you breathe. This may lead to snoring. While snoring may not be a severe health issue, many people prefer to have a quieter sleep. Hence, if you have a history of frequent bruxism, you can prevent snoring by going to bed with a night guard in your mouth.

How to Ensure Comfort with Night Guard

As helpful as night guards are, it may be challenging to get used to wearing them. If you feel uncomfortable with your night guard in your first weeks of using it, there may be nothing to worry about. However, if discomfort is affecting your sleep and it appears the situation is not going to change anytime soon, then you may take the following steps:

Wear it Briefly During the Day

Wearing your night guard in the daytime may help you get used to it at night. However, you don't have to make yourself uncomfortable both day and night. Hence limit the daytime usage to a brief time and the time most comfortable for you.

Consider Using Customized Night Guard

A custom-made nightguard will surely fit your mouth perfectly. This will prevent any damage that misalignment of the over-the-counter night guard may cause. Hence, a customized nightguard will be more comfortable in your mouth.

Talk to Your Dentist

Your dentist may have other options that will work for you. Hence, instead of suffering in silence, talk to your dentist and seek professional advice.

We Can Help You

If you suffer bruxism and associated dental problems, we are here to help you. At Carolina Dentistry, we specialized in all dental treatments. Our professional dentists and technicians will assist you in overcoming all dental challenges you may be facing in the most comfortable way. Our services are excellent, and our fees are affordable. You can also contact us today, and we will be glad to help.