Teeth Grinding: Can A Night Guard Really Help?

Most people grind their teeth at some point in time in their life, but the issue is not severe enough to create a health issue. However, there are individuals who grind their teeth so severely that they can have teeth issues in the future, including cracking, jaw pain, morning headaches, and other problems. Known as bruxism, teeth grinding that is severe needs to be treated to ensure the individual does not have issues in the future. It can be difficult to stop grinding your teeth on your own. A common way to stop is to use a night guard when sleeping.

Teeth Grinding

An individual who suffers from teeth grinding will have a habit of clenching the teeth in a tight fashion or rubbing them together. Grinding can happen during the daytime hours but for the most part, it occurs in the nighttime when sleeping. This is what makes the issue so serious because you have no physical control over what you do at night.

For most people, they are unaware of any grinding until they are told by someone else. Someone else hears the teeth grinding and then makes the individual aware. Children can grind their teeth at a young age but usually outgrow the act as they age, causing no harm to the teeth.

Whether you are grinding your teeth as an adult or have a child that has begun to grind theirs, it is important to be evaluated by a dentist. This way, the severity of the issue can be discovered, and a night guard or other treatment recommended.

What is a Mouth Guard?

A mouth guard is a plastic retainer that will cover your bottom or top teeth. The guard will be made specifically for your mouth and will help to cushion and guard your teeth against the force that happens when teeth are clenched. The guard will help to prevent your teeth from grinding together, thus stopping any future cracking, headaches, and other teeth grinding symptoms.

A night guard is created after the dentist takes a mold of your mouth. This will ensure the guard fits your teeth perfectly. Night guards can be purchased at a pharmacy but will not have an exact fit and can feel uncomfortable during sleep. With a customized guard, your teeth will be protected and you will be able to sleep with the guard in your mouth with ease.

Additional Treatment Options

Other than a night guard, there are other ways to stop teeth grinding. When teeth are not straight it can lead to grinding. Straightening the teeth with braces can help to stop malocclusion which can attribute to grinding.

Anxiety can also play a role in teeth grinding. The dentist may suggest that you use relaxation methods such as mediation to help you relax before bed to avoid grinding.