Night Mouth Guards
Night mouthguards are coverings for your teeth that protect them from damage due to clenching your jaw and/or grinding your teeth while you sleep. There are three main types of dental mouthguards, two of which you can buy in sporting goods stores and a third type that can be custom-made especially for you by Weissman Dental. The type of dental treatment and/or mouthguard that will work best for you will depend on the severity, cause, and frequency of your teeth grinding, also known as bruxism.
This type of mouthguard comes pre-formed and ready to wear. It is the least expensive of the mouthguards and can be purchased in most any sporting goods or department store. There is little to nothing you can do to adjust the fit of a stock mouthguard, and they tend to be bulky and often make breathing or talking difficult. Unless there is an immediate and desperate need for a mouthguard, we don’t recommend this type as effective protection against teeth grinding.
These can also be bought at most sporting goods stores and provide better protection against teeth grinding than stock mouthguards. A boil-and-bite mouthguard is made from a thermoplastic material that softens and becomes flexible when boiled in water. You bite down on it while it is still warm and can use finger and tongue pressure to shape it around your teeth.
We design custom-made mouthguards in our office by making an impression of your teeth to send to the lab for final molding and fabrication. Not only will we ensure your mouthguard fits your mouth as well as possible, we will also often recommend a nocturnal bite splint or bite plate to further protect your teeth and jaw from damage. Due to special materials and the labor and time involved to create custom-made mouthguards, they are the most expensive type. However, their snug fit provides the most comfort, stability, and overall protection. A truly effective mouthguard will also be tear-resistant and easy to clean.
What Are the Symptoms of Teeth Grinding?
Depending on the severity of your bruxism, you may wake up with a headache and/or an achy jaw. You may also notice clicking or popping in your jaw when opening or closing your mouth. If teeth grinding becomes prolonged, it can begin to damage your tooth enamel and may cause misalignment of your teeth. It can also lead to gum disease, so it’s important to visit our office as soon as possible if you believe you may be grinding your teeth at night. This will ensure that we catch the condition early enough to provide effective treatment.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
Although bruxism is often related to stress, it can also be caused by mechanical problems with your teeth like a misaligned bite or broken or missing teeth. It can also be caused by a sleep disorder. If we determine that your teeth grinding isn’t related to these causes, it could be caused by an underlying medical issue such as Parkinson’s disease or Huntington’s disease. Finally, it can also be triggered by certain psychiatric medications, including antidepressants.
Teeth grinding doesn’t have to advance into a serious problem, but if severe enough, our team at Weissman Dental will need to fit you with a mouthguard to wear while you sleep. To learn more about bruxism and how we can treat it, give us a call at (503) 274-2222 to schedule an exam.