Night Guards for Bruxism

Solutions for jaw and Teeth Grinding

night and sports guards Boston MassachusettsNight time mouth guards, or dental night guards, are an effective treatment for protecting your teeth, gums, and jaw from damage due to jaw clenching or teeth grinding, or bruxism. While most patients grind their teeth at night, some clench or grind during the daytime. If you have been diagnosed with bruxism or suspect it is causing problems such as headaches or tooth pain, the doctors at Center Plaza Dental can create a mouth guard designed specifically for you. A custom mouth guard can prevent future damage that may otherwise lead to serious health problems.

Night Guards are usually worn over your upper teeth, but in some cases, your dentist may advise one for the lower teeth as well. The mouth guard prevents tooth grinding and clenching by keeping the teeth parted slightly and relaxing the jaw muscles. The mouth guard fits closely over the teeth without obstructing your ability to breathe or speak. It is easy to put in and remove, durable, and easy care. Used properly, night guards protect your teeth from chipping, excessive wear, and malocclusion caused by teeth grinding.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is often the result of anxiety and stress. It is unconscious and can lead to pain and muscle tension. Other causes include obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), sleep paralysis, and taking certain medications. A class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is known to increase the risk of bruxism. Excessive use of drugs, alcohol, caffeine and smoking can all contribute to teeth grinding.

Children and teens often grind their teeth when sleeping. While this can be concerning, it often resolves itself when children become adults and have all their adult teeth. However, if teeth grinding is left untreated, it can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), a painful condition affecting the function of the jaw joint. If your child is grinding their teeth at night, it is best to have them evaluated to determine whether it is damaging their teeth or affecting their sleep.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

Most people are not aware that they grind their teeth until they experience troubling symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Recurring face, neck, or shoulder pain
  • Chronic jaw pain
  • Chronic earaches or feeling like your ears are plugged
  • Broken or worn teeth
  • Fitful sleep or frequent waking during the night

Who Needs a Mouth Guard?

Anyone with bruxism should wear a mouth guard to prevent jaw clenching and teeth grinding. These mouth guards, sometimes called bite plates or dental splints, protect the teeth from damage and help relax the jaw to minimize pain associated with muscle tension from grinding.

Sports Guards

Sports guards should be worn by anyone playing contact sports such as football, basketball, soccer, boxing, and hockey. If you participate in recreational sports such as skateboarding or climbing, a mouth guard adds a layer of protection for your teeth and gums.

Benefits of Night Guards

There are many benefits to wearing a custom night guard to prevent teeth grinding while you sleep, including:

  • Reduces or eliminates jaw and facial pain
  • Prevents damage to your teeth
  • Prevents misalignment of your teeth due to grinding
  • Reduces or eliminates morning headaches
  • Helps prevent TMJ Disorder
  • Prevents gum recession
  • Reduces or eliminates snoring
  • Improves sleep

If you grind or clench your teeth, you may benefit from a night guard for bruxism. Contact our office at Center Plaza Dental Office Phone Number (617) 227-8536 to schedule an appointment to discuss whether a mouth guard is right for you.

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