You have seen a dentist, and they have suggested that you consider a nightguard because you are causing damage to your teeth by grinding them at night. Do you need a nightguard? You may be wondering this because you can’t understand how grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw can damage you. For now, you don’t see much wrong and wouldn’t even have known this was happening if the dentist had not brought up the subject. Let’s take a look at why you do need a nightguard and what you could be facing in the future if you don’t get one. Our team at Lovett Dental Cinco Ranch can get you the treatment you need.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the name given to the act of grinding your teeth together or clenching your jaw tightly for long periods of time. While these things can occur during the daytime, they mostly happen while you are asleep. Often, this happens without you being aware of it until problems are created. Bruxism normally occurs when a person is angry, stressed, or experiencing some other emotion. It can also be a result of some physical disorders such as sleep apnea or Parkinson’s. Certain medications can also contribute to this.
The biggest problem with bruxism is the damage it does to your teeth. You may end up having to go in for teeth straightening, but more likely, you will start to feel sensitivity in your teeth as the act of grinding them together will wear them down and thin the enamel that protects the nerves inside. Over time, you may also break a tooth or damage the underlying bone if this continues. In the end, bruxism left untreated can end up costing you thousands of dollars in tooth repair and other medical bills. Bruxism can also cause other physical damage or issues.
More Than Damaged Teeth
One of the problems produced by bruxism is referred to as TMJ. This is a problem with the functioning of the muscles that attach your jaw to your skull. Some of TMJ’s more common symptoms include a grinding sound when you open or close your mouth, the tendency for your jaw to lock occasionally, swelling of your face, or pain in your cheek and jaw. Bruxism has also been indicated as one of the causes of migraine-type headaches. You can experience an uncomfortable night’s sleep and wake up with pain in your face, ears, or neck. Do you need a nightguard? If you are experiencing any of these things, you likely do.
What is a Nightguard?
A nightguard is a simple piece of specially molded material that fits over your teeth, much like the pieces used in teeth whitening fit. They don’t stop you from grinding your teeth, but they help prevent some of the damage done by doing so. This is one of the most non-invasive methods of treatment. The dentist will have you bite down on a plastic-type material to make an impression on your teeth. This impression will then be used to design a mouthpiece that is designed especially for you. You place this guard over your teeth at night, and it fits as comfortably as the mouth guards worn by many athletes.
Discover How Lovett Dental Cinco Ranch Can Help
Here at Lovett Dental Cinco Ranch, we often see patients who come in for teeth straightening, and we suggest a nightguard because there is more going on that is causing the issue. If you are experiencing the symptoms that indicate you may have bruxism, you do need a nightguard. Contact us at 713-244-7799 and set up an appointment for an evaluation today. Your teeth will thank you.