Do others tell you that you grind your teeth when you sleep? Or, do you have jaw pain or chronic headaches from clenching your teeth? If the answer is yes to either question, you may need a custom-fitted mouthguard for the night. By wearing this oral device, you can protect your teeth from undue harm and provide relief from any associated oral or jaw pain.
Our professional team at Hill County Oral Surgery wants the best for you and your oral health. Here are three reasons why we recommend a custom-fitted night mouthguard.
1. Stops You From Grinding Your Teeth
The medical term for grinding your teeth is Bruxism, which refers explicitly to the moving of the jaw back and forth. This condition is common and usually occurs at night during sleep or in times of stress. Unless a sleep partner or dentist informs them, most of our patients are not even aware that they grind their teeth.
Eventually, grinding your teeth will cause excessive damage to tooth structures and the eroding of enamel. This injury can lead to increased sensitivity or decay. It may also cause pain in the jaw, neck, and face, disrupting your sleep.
2. Prevents You From Clenching Your Teeth
Another form of Bruxism is clenching your teeth or biting down for extended periods. Patients who clench their teeth during sleep may end up with significant tooth damage. Teeth clenching may also cause stress fractures in your molars, appearing as light brown hues.
If you are curious about if you clench your teeth or not, look in the mirror to see if you can find vertical hairline cracks in your teeth. Insufficient treatment for teeth clenching will increase the chance of these cracks and lead to overall dental health issues.
3. Helps You Get a Goodnight Sleep Without Snoring
A night mouthguard does not merely cover your teeth for protection but also pushes the tongue and lower jaw forward. Some custom guards have a strap that wraps around your head and chin to position the lower jaw precisely.
Custom night guards also open air-passages and reduce snoring that occurs because of vibrations to soft tissue in the upper airway. These work similarly to mouthguards for sleep apnea, as both work to pull your lower jaw forward for an open airway. The over-the-counter boil-and-bite guards won’t help you breathing or reduce snoring nearly as well.
If snoring is compromising your sleep, or that of your sleep partner, come see us about your mouthguard options. We can recommend one that will effectively help you with your unique oral concerns and improve your quality of life.