Night grinding is a serious problem for teeth. It affects between five and eight percent of the population, but some people don’t even realize they have it until problems occur. Fortunately, a night guard is an easy and cost-effective way to deal with this problem.
A night guard is a device that protects your teeth from grinding while you sleep. Anyone who struggles from mild to severe night grinding can benefit from a night guard, although a different type might be necessary for different issues.
At Downtown Dental Studio, we offer custom-made night guards for our patients. Our providers — Fadi Beydoun, DMD, MS, Alexander Kimon, DMD, and Karina Zaygermakher, DMD — understand why a night guard could be helpful and want you to be fully aware of all these benefits.
How a night guard works
A night guard puts space between your teeth at night so that unintentional grinding (also known as bruxism) will not harm them. The more severe your grinding, the harder your night guard must be to counteract it. Harder night guards also last longer against more severe grinding.
Our clinic's night guards are made specifically to fit your mouth. This means there isn’t the discomfort that comes with non-custom mouthguards. There is also a decreased likelihood of the night guard slipping while you sleep.
3 reasons you need a night guard
You might think your nighttime grinding isn't bad or wonder why you need this custom-made piece when you could just try to stop grinding alone. But night grinding is hard to control on your own, so getting help is much better.
If you don't, three issues are more likely to occur without the use of a night guard as your bruxism continues.
1. Dental problems
Dental problems are one of the most common side effects of night grinding. When you grind on your teeth all night, they tend to wear down much faster. This constant pressure wears the enamel away, which leaves your teeth unprotected from plaque, calculus, and, eventually, decay.
In addition, it can change the way your bite works. Wearing down your teeth through grinding will cause them not to fit together properly. This will also cause tooth problems and make it hard to eat and chew. A properly fitted mouthguard, however, can help you avoid these issues.
2. Sleep problems
Night grinding can also make it hard to sleep properly. If you wake up with headaches or notice pain or discomfort in the night from grinding, a night guard can help. Sometimes, patients will do everything they can to get better sleep, not realizing the issue lies with nighttime grinding.
When you wear a night guard, your jaw is more protected from grinding pressure, so you can sleep comfortably and not feel exhausted or in pain the next morning.
One of the most serious side effects of bruxism is a temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ. This disorder causes pain in your jaw joint because the grinding you do at night puts severe pressure on it. As a result, you may experience jaw pain, headaches, ear pain, and pain in the face. Some patients even have other issues like lockjaw or hearing loss.
TMJ is a serious disorder that causes several problems. Getting a night guard before these symptoms form can help avoid them, but even if you already suffer from TMJ, a night guard can help manage your symptoms.
Get your night guard today
A night guard is an effective solution to night grinding and a way to prevent some of the serious side effects listed above. To visit us at our New York City office and get fitted for a night guard, visit us online or call 212-964-3337. We're here to help!