Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you wake up with facial or jaw pain? Do you have a lot of stress in your life? If so, you may have bruxism. This is the medical term for when you shift, grind, or click your teeth at night. When this happens over a period of time, you can end up cracking or otherwise damaging the enamel that protects your teeth, or you could affect your jaw alignment. If your condition gets too serious, you may need dental bridges or implants to address this issue.
But there are ways to stop you from shifting, grinding, and clicking your teeth early on. To protect your teeth, a night guard could be the right solution for you.
A night guard is a custom-fitted oral appliance. Typically made of plastic or soft rubber, you wear your mouth guard at night. It offers a thin, cushioned layer between your teeth to prevent them from grinding against each other, and to support your jaw while you sleep. So not only does it stop the frequency and intensity of the nightly shifting and grinding, your night guard can also reduce the potential for long-term damage to your teeth and jaw.
Over time, your night guard will wear down and need to be replaced. Although when it needs to be replaced depends on the person and the severity of the grinding, expect to need a new one between 1 and 5 years. Your dentist can let you know when this needs to be done.
Healthy teeth are crucial to your comfort and well-being. But if you grind your teeth while you sleep, you are at risk for damaged teeth and jaw pain. Make an appointment to see your dentist to determine if you need a night guard. Protect your teeth – it’s worth it.