When you wake up in the morning, how do you feel? Are you feeling happy and refreshed and ready to take on the day? Alternatively, instead, do you find yourself waking up with a flinch and a wince and a sharp pain in your mouth and jaw?
Nearly 40 million American adults and children clench and grind their teeth at night when they are sleeping, a condition known as bruxism. Not only is this problem quite painful, leading to ongoing discomfort in the teeth and jaw, it can also be very damaging to your teeth. You may start to notice erosion on your dental enamel or your teeth may start to chip or break under the constant pressure. We here at Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry see many patients like yourself who struggle with bruxism and often find that a night guard can help relieve the symptoms of this miserable condition.
How Can a Night Guard Help Me?
Many people are surprised to discover that they grind or clench their teeth at night. It is not until they start to notice the effects of the bruxism on their mouth and their life that they start to take note of it. Quite a few people do not even realize that they are grinding their teeth until significant other comments on it, or we point out the damage to their teeth to them. Only then do they start to realize that the many common symptoms that they are experiencing points to bruxism.
Do I Have Bruxism?
Symptoms of bruxism include pain in your jaw that can spread down to your neck or your face. You may also feel as though your jaw is tired during the day. Lingering earaches can also be caused by it, as can unexplained cuts and lacerations on your inner cheeks. Finally, if you start to notice chips on your teeth or your enamel looks thin, then you may be grinding your teeth at night.
Common triggers for bruxism can vary, but it often can be caused by stress. “Type A” personalities are more likely to suffer from grinding and clenching at night, too. Certain medications may also make a person more likely to develop bruxism, as can genetics. Use of alcohol products, tobacco, and caffeine may also increase a person’s risk of bruxism. There are also several medical conditions that may make a person more prone to bruxism, such as epilepsy or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
The Benefits of a Custom Night Guard
A custom fitted nighttime mouth guard can help with these problems. Unlike a generic stock mouth guard, this one will be fitted to your mouth. We will create it from an impression that we take of your mouth, allowing for a secure and comfortable fit. This can help prevent any complications that can arise due to your bruxism by providing your teeth with a cushion at night. While it may not stop you from grinding, it can at least prevent you from rubbing your teeth painfully together all night long. It may also help your jaw relax, as it will not be squeezed shut when you are sleeping.
Getting a custom night guard can be a very positive and rewarding experience, and it may help eliminate the pain associated with bruxism. If you would like to learn more about the many advantages of a custom night guard, or to set up an appointment with us here at Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry, please give us a call today at (803) 310-4707!