Do you grind your teeth at night? Have you ever wondered if this could be a problem? You might even be worried that some behavior change or therapy is needed to stop the issue. Fortunately, you may require nothing other than to wear a night guard.
Downtown Dental Studios offers many dental treatments and goes beyond the simple filling of cavities and teeth cleaning. Our providers Fadi Beydoun, DMD, MS, Alexander Kimon, DMD, and Karina Zaygermakher, DMD offer tons of different services, and one of them is fitting you with a customized night guard to treat bruxism from mild to severe.
The lowdown on bruxism
First off, you may be asking what bruxism is and why it occurs. This technical term is used when a person grinds their teeth by sliding them back and forth. Often, this happens without the person’s knowledge and usually at night during sleep.
While there has been no one cause determined for the issue of bruxism, it is believed stress may be a significant factor. Also, though wakeful bruxism can occur, nocturnal bruxism is far more common.
For many people, grinding their teeth may seem like it isn’t a big problem. Some don’t even experience symptoms when they do it. But those who continue to grind might soon see long-term side effects like
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping
- Fractured teeth
- Worn-down teeth that lead to increased sensitivity
- Receding gums
- Jaw pain and headaches
- Hearing loss
- TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder
How a night guard can help
A night guard is also called an occlusal splint or a bite plate. It’s a mouth guard designed specifically to fit your bite, so no one else will have one like it. After it’s made and fitted, you will wear it at night while you sleep to avoid the effects of nocturnal bruxism.
This device is meant to be worn every night. It keeps your teeth from grinding against each other to help you avoid the possible side effects of bruxism. There are three different kinds of night guards.
A soft night guard is the one you’ll most likely use because it’s the most common. These help people who have mild bruxism, and they’re soft and thin. It’s easy to adapt to using a soft night guard, and when taken care of properly, one will last you at least a year.
A dual laminate night guard is harder on the outside, which makes it last longer. These are used for more intense cases of bruxism, perhaps where symptoms have begun to surface, especially pain. Hard night guards are acrylic, and they’re most helpful to those who already suffer from severe bruxism.
Knowing if you need a night guard
It isn’t always necessary to get a night guard, especially if you’re not experiencing any symptoms. But, if you feel that the treatment could be necessary to protect your teeth down the road, it’s a safe, effective investment in your dental health that requires little management.
It’s a good idea to talk to your provider if you suspect you have nocturnal bruxism, and ask if they feel a night guard would be helpful. It’s often easier than you think to adjust to wearing a night guard, especially a soft one, and you’re likely to see impressive results when you do!
Night guards can help
Why not call our New York City office today to find out if a night guard could be right for you? Simply call 212-964-3337 or make an appointment online at your convenience. We’re here to help!