Do you often wake up with a toothache, painful jaw, or a headache? You might have bruxism, a condition where you unconsciously gnash, clench, or grind teeth in your sleep. Bruxism can be due to stress, missing/crooked teeth, an abnormal bite, and sleep disorders, to mention a few factors. Mark Sutton DDS can help you deal with the damaging consequence of the condition by using a dental night guard.
A dental night guard is a soft device worn inside your mouth throughout the night. It helps prevent grinding and its negative impacts on your overall health. The device will take some time to get used to, but a routine such as wearing it a few minutes before bed can help. Among the top reasons to consider a dental night guard includes:
1. Avoid tooth damage
Among the common effects of bruxism are chipped and worn-out teeth. The excess pressure from the grinding weakens your teeth, accelerating wear that can cause chipping. The concerns expose you to more oral health problems, including infections and extreme teeth sensitivity. Sensitivity, for example, affects your oral hygiene quests, which increases the risk of plaque buildup that can cause gum disease. The night guard cushions the teeth, providing a protective barrier that keeps such problems at bay as you clench them in your sleep.
2. Deal with headaches
Grinding your teeth during sleep usually leads to tensed muscles in areas including the neck, shoulders, mouth, and jaw, which causes headaches. Chronic headaches/migraines are common in people with bruxism due to stress. The ongoing headaches and migraines can affect the quality of your life. They make it harder to focus on your core functions, which can worsen to the extent of affecting your career and relationships. Moreover, you can easily fall into drug dependence as you turn to opioids to manage pain. The dental devices help you avoid such excessive stress on the jaw, keeping the headaches/migraines away.
3. TMJ disorder prevention
TMJ (temporomandibular joint) connects your jaw to the skull. When you clench and grind teeth in your sleep, you cause excess pressure, affecting the TMJ, and can lead to misalignment. TMJ misalignment makes it harder to chew and can cause pain in and around your ear and headaches/migraines. TMJ disorder can also worsen and lead to articular disk damage, which is usually irreparable and require replacement. TMJ disorder can also cause a trip to the ER when the jaw unexpectedly locks open/closed. A dental night guard eases muscle tension, helping you lower the chances of developing TMJ disorder.
4. Quality sleep
Getting a quality night’s sleep is essential, a concern that challenges most people with bruxism. You are likely to awaken when you clench or grind your teeth, considering the pressure and the muscle tension experienced. The night guard keeps your muscles relaxed by taking most of the force, allowing you to catch and enjoy quality sleep.
Investing in a professional dental night guard can initially seem like an expensive quest. Nonetheless, they help keep your oral health in good shape, avoiding costly dental care needs. Contact or visit Greenwich Dentistry today to learn more about night guards and how they can help improve your dental care regimen.