Do you wake up with frequent headaches, a stiff jaw, or a dull toothache? If the answer is yes, you may have a common condition called bruxism. Bruxism is the grinding or clenching of teeth during night and it can cause several unpleasant symptoms such as insomnia, tooth damage or sensitivity, headaches, and insomnia. While we don’t know the exact cause of bruxism, we believe it is probably a combination of physical, psychological, and genetic factors. Stress and anxiety can also play a role in teeth grinding. At Dentistry on Parkdale in Hamilton, ON, we often recommend dental night guards for patients who have bruxism. In this article we will discuss why dental night guards are safe and some of the benefits of wearing one.
At our office, we recommend professional, custom-fitted night guards that are fabricated in a dental laboratory based on impressions of your mouth. Custom made dental night guards offer more protection and are more comfortable than over the counter night guards.
Patients who have bruxism grind and clench their teeth unconsciously over the course of sleep. This constant pressure on the teeth can wear down enamel and potentially lead to damaged fillings, broken restorations, or cracked teeth. The effects of bruxism can often lead to the need for costly tooth restoration procedures in the future. Night guards protect teeth from the repeated impact of clenching and grinding.
Constant clenching from bruxism can lead to disruption in sleep or insomnia. When dental guards are used at night it helps keep the jaw properly positioned and relax the muscles of the mouth. By drastically reducing the impact of clenching, night guards minimize symptoms and improve quality of sleep.
Headaches, jaw pain, and soreness are the most common symptoms of patients with bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ). Dental night guards can be fabricated to realign the jaw into the proper position which can help alleviate TMJ headaches, pain, and soreness.
Tooth related problems from bruxism can add up over time. Ask anyone who has had extensive restorative dental work and they’ll tell you that it usually comes with a hefty price tag. Over time, the effects of teeth grinding can slowly destroy teeth. A custom fit dental night guard can stop teeth grinding and prevent unnecessary damage to the teeth.
In a word…. Yes. Your custom fabricated dental night guard will be made from a durable plastic that is completely safe to wear while you sleep. While custom fit dental night guards do cost more than over the counter alternatives, they address the concerns, will feel the most comfortable, and will last a lot longer.
While the symptoms of bruxism can be exhausting and potentially expensive, the good news is there is treatment available that really works.
If you experience any of the most common symptoms of bruxism or TMJ, you should schedule an evaluation for these conditions with the team at Dentistry on Parkdale. During our assessment we will be able to determine if a high quality, custom fit dental night guard is right for you.
Once we determine you are a candidate for a night guard, we can take impressions and send them to the lab to have your custom solution made. Some people may need guards on both arches of teeth while others may only need the guard on a single arch.
If you are tired of waking up with constant headaches and jaw pain, you may want to explore the benefits of a custom-made night guard. Relief may be easier than you think. If you are in the Hamilton, ON area call Dentistry on Parkdale today at 905-547-4940 to learn more about night guards.
Dr. Karen Ho is a trusted dentist serving patients of all ages in Hamilton, Ontario. Having studied at prestigious institutes such as McMaster University and University of Toronto and trained at Hartford Hospital (General Practice Residency), she opened her private practice in 2003.
Dr. Ho is committed to lifelong learning as she believes that she can serve her community better by constantly updating herself. She is affiliated with many professional organisations like the Academy of General Dentistry, Institute for Clinical Practice of Pediatric Dentistry, The Dawson Academy Study Club, Niagara Peninsula Dental Diagnostic Study Club, Hamilton Chapter of the Seattle Study Club (Founding Member), and Boston and Tufts Universities.