Many people lead stressful lives, but you don’t want your stress to transfer to physical ailments. Grinding, biting, and clenching your teeth through the night is a condition called bruxism, which is very common. At Crosby Dentistry, we can help identify the signs of bruxism and will fit you for a night guard to alleviate the symptoms, relax your jaw, and improve your health.
What Is a Night Guard?
A night guard is a device placed inside the mouth and designed to fit comfortably around your top or bottom teeth. The night guard is made of thick plastic and can be easily removed. The guard adds a barrier between your teeth to prevent grinding, biting, chewing, and clenching. For some patients, a night guard is temporary and may only be needed during certain times, while for others, it may be needed as a long-term solution.
Why Would I Need a Night Guard?
Many people suffer from different conditions that can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the teeth or strain on the jaw. For example, bruxism can create issues for your teeth, and it can eventually lead to jaw pain and headaches.
A number of conditions can cause bruxism, but it is most commonly a result of:
- Tobacco use
- Heavy caffeine use
- Anxious, competitive, or aggressive personality types
- Stress or frustration
- Certain medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease
Some people only experience bruxism when they are under stress, although others can experience these symptoms year-round. Discussing your conditions with Dr. Crosby is the best way to get you fitted for a night guard so you can start protecting your teeth and jaw.
How Do I Know If I Need a Night Guard?
Getting your first night guard is easy, but you must first recognize the signs and symptoms of bruxism. Our team will discuss with you whether a night guard may be an appropriate solution for your situation.
A night guard may be a good idea for you if you notice:
- Sore or tender jaw
- Repeat and chronic headaches
- Popping or clicking when you move your mouth
- Sudden uneven or uncomfortable bite
- Swollen side of the face
How Is a Night Guard Made?
Making a night guard is a straightforward process. It is pain-free and only takes a few minutes. Dr. Crosby will first make an impression of your teeth using soft wax. The impression helps to create a mold for your night guard that mimics the exact placement of each tooth. The mold is then sent to a laboratory where a professional will make the night guard out of thick plastic. When the guard is ready, the dentist will fit it around your teeth to ensure a tight yet comfortable fit.
Is It Painful to Wear a Night Guard?
It is incredibly comfortable to wear a night guard as you sleep, and many people don’t even realize they have one in their mouth. It may take a few days to get comfortable with your night guard. However, some brief time to get acclimated to sleeping with something in your mouth is completely normal. Many people who complain about an uncomfortable night guard usually wear an over-the-counter version that is not customized to their mouth.
How Do I Care for a Night Guard?
Taking good care of your night guard is essential to keep it in excellent condition for years. During the day, be sure to store your night guard in a case to keep it protected. Before wearing the guard when you sleep, clean it using standard toothpaste and a toothbrush. The better you care for your night guard, the longer it will last. Protecting your teeth, even while you sleep, will help to improve your overall dental health and keep you comfortable throughout the day.
We’d love to help you get a good night’s sleep by alleviating the effects bruxism may be having on your teeth and jaw. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment. We’ll listen to your concerns and explore options to provide your teeth with around-the-clock protection.