Believe it or not, when we go to sleep, we don’t completely relax. Our minds go over the day’s events or things we’ve been thinking about, and our brains continue to keep working those issues over. One of the most obvious signs of this replay involves teeth grinding or clenching while sleeping, also referred to technically as Bruxism.

Eventually, any grinding has a destructive effect, and our teeth are not immune. Bruxism will contribute over time to teeth cracking and wearing the surface, particularly in the molars. Fortunately, the simple cure for the effects of Bruxism involves dental nightguards, provided at Lovett Dental Meyerland Plaza.

Typical Symptoms of Bruxismwoman shows off her nightguards

Bruxism tends to be very common. Folks will wake up feeling like they have been chewing on a tough steak for hours. They suffer from minor headaches and sore jaws. In several cases, they have facial pain. Some cases also produce symptoms associated with poor sleep and disruption of deep relaxation as well. However, the most serious damage is, as mentioned earlier, damage to one’s teeth. Bruxism has contributed to multiple cases of teeth cracking and breaking, removal of the teeth enamel where affected, and actual loss of the affected teeth if not addressed properly.

While there is no specific target cause of Bruxism that can be pinpointed and addressed completely, such as with a pharmaceutical, Bruxism does tend to appear more often in cases where patients are already prone to sleep apnea, have an abnormal mouth position or bite, grew up with crooked teeth, use alcohol and cigarettes, and drink a lot of caffeine.

How a Dental Nightguard Works

Nightguards are fabricated in the form of rubber that is highly durable, can take a beating from being chewed on repeatedly, and do a wonderful job of keeping teeth apart. By simply providing a physical barrier, a nightguard stops the grinding damage to a person’s teeth cold, and the cushioning also helps reduce the strain on the jaw. In turn, that reduces jaw pain, headaches, and sleep interruptions that leave a person exhausted by the morning. So, in short, nightguards really pack a punch with multiple benefits.

As a basic teeth protection product, nightguards can be obtained directly from a dentist or over the counter. There are some differences in the quality between the two that one should be aware of. The key factor in both includes the requirement that the guard needs to actually be fitted to a person’s mouth to work correctly. Second, the quality of the nightguard will have an impact on its durability.

Types of Nightguards

Soft nightguards are the most common and can easily be obtained from a local drug store or similar. They are not recommended for severe mouth issues as night guards for TMJ and are generally used more as a preventative measure for mild Bruxism. Soft nightguard benefits include:

  • Easy to fit and wear due to its flexibility
  • Patients have the least amount of problems adapting to it
  • Tends to cost far less

The downsides of soft nightguards, however, include:

  • Low durability
  • They tend to be temporary and get chewed apart by heavy grinding
  • They only last about 6 months with warranty coverage

Alternatively, dual laminate nightguards tend to be far more durable and long-lasting, but they come with a thicker build, and some folks have a tough time adapting to them.

Finally, there are hard night guards for Bruxism. These are made from acrylic and are extremely durable as a result. They are typically obtained from dentists and address severe Bruxism. Their benefits include:

  • Keep teeth positioned in place without shifting
  • Fit directly to a patient’s mouth
  • Offer the longest warranty protection

The disadvantages tend to include:

Find the Nightguards Your Need at Lovett Dental Meyerland Plaza

If you’re already waking up with sore teeth, just realized one of your molars might be chipped or cracked, or you’re waking up with a sore jaw or headache every morning, there’s a good chance you have Bruxism. Our team at Lovett Dental Meyerland Plaza can examine you comfortably and confirm what’s happening. We also have the ability to diagnose, plan, and fit you with a preventative nightguard designed for your mouth and teeth directly. Give us a call at 832.551.3318, or contact us online to set up an appointment or email us for more information. After all, you only have the teeth you were born with. Don’t let them grind away at night while you sleep.