Do You Need to Use a Night Guard for Your Teeth

Do You Need to Use a Night Guard for Your Teeth?

A low percentage of the population needs to wear a retainer or night guard, but an even smaller percentage actually follows through on the treatment. However, sometimes people need to be wearing one but don’t realize it because they haven’t seen a dentist about their ailments. Night guards are frequently worn by people who have problems with clenching and grinding their teeth at night. These behaviors result in unnecessary wear and tear on the teeth, and can even cause joint pain in the TMJ, the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull.

Do You Grind or Clench?

Many individuals who grind or clench are unaware of their own behavior. It is often a subconscious practice that occurs because you or another affected person are stressed in your daily life. You could be clenching your jaw even now and aren’t realizing it – try relaxing your jaw and see if you suddenly have less stress in your skull.

Bruxism, or grinding the teeth, is done by 10% to 15% of adults, especially in their sleep. If you need a night guard for teeth, this is the primary reason why. If you grind or clench your teeth, then you will often experience the following symptoms:

  • Sleep disruption
  • Teeth that are worn, thin, chipped, or cracked
  • Tight jaw muscles when you wake up
  • Tired jaw muscles when you wake up
  • A locked jaw
  • Pain in the jaw, neck, or face
  • Increased pain and sensitivity in the teeth
  • Headache that originates around the temples

Some people are also more at risk of developing a problem with grinding and clenching then others. There are several factors that can determine your likeliness of having a problem if you don’t have some physical proof of your bruxism or clenching:

  • Stress: Someone who has a lot of stress in their life is more likely to clench and grind because you are struggling to relax in your sleep.
  • Genetics: Someone who has family members with bruxism or a clenching problem is more likely to have one and need a night guard.
  • Medications: Some antidepressants and similar medications can cause these issues, as can consuming alcohol and tobacco products on a regular basis.
  • Personality Type: If you are naturally aggressive, energetic, or prone to anxiety, then you are more likely to clench and grind.
  • Existing Medical Disorders: Some disorders and conditions like ADHD, sleep apnea, dementia, GERD, and Parkinson’s can have trouble with their jaw.

How to Get a Night Guard

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then you most likely need to be wearing a night guard to protect your teeth. A night guard is an appliance typically made of a material like rubber or plastic that will protect your teeth by adjusting the alignment of your jaws. While these can be purchased from some pharmacies, it is more effective and comfortable to visit a dentist.

The right dentist will be able to examine your teeth, determine the alignment of your jaws, and make a personalized mold that suits your current alignment. The permanent night guard can take two weeks to make, but comes in a variety of materials and levels of firmness. If you have a severe problem, the dentist can create a guard that is firm and inflexible.

Someone seeking night guards in Brampton, ON can visit the staff at Rosedale Dental Care for an appointment and consultation.

Other Forms of Treatment

If you are interested in using a night guard and combining it with other forms of treatment, there are actually quite a few ways to treat bruxism and clenching. A dentist will often prescribe a series of oral exercises to strengthen and relax the jaw, and will sometimes use behavioral therapy to counteract bad habits.

Besides exercising and therapy, engaging in stress reduction and changes in dietary habits can also be effective. You can try meditating before bed to relax, and can focus on eating a healthy diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and water. If medications like antidepressants are calling the nightly clenching and grinding, then the dentist might refer you back to your doctor for a medication change and new prescription.

With all of this in mind, don’t be afraid to seek out a qualified dentist today.

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