You may know all about how candy and soda can damage your teeth, but you might not have heard about the potential dental hazards that can happen while you sleep—teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Like snoring, most people often don’t even realize they do these things.
Night grinding, also called bruxism, can lead to dental health issues like damaged teeth, jaw pain and, in more severe cases, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).
At Dentistry at Millennium Park, we can help you protect your teeth during sleep with a custom nightguard that covers your teeth to prevent or lessen the impact of clenching, grinding and tension in your jaw.
What are Bruxism Symptoms?
You may not know you grind your teeth at night, but you may notice symptoms of it during the day, like jaw pain, a dull headache, or broken, worn or cracked teeth. While reasons for clenching and grinding are varied, common causes are tension and stress in a patient’s life.
If left untreated, bruxism can cause long-term oral health problems like a misaligned bite, damaged teeth or complications from TMD. This is why it’s imperative to invest in a proper-fitting nightguard.
How Does a Nightguard Treat Bruxism?
Trying to reduce stress is a good start to stopping bruxism, but the best solution for long-term relief and prevention is getting a special mouthguard to wear when you go to bed.
Nightguards work by providing a protective layer between your teeth as you sleep. The guard’s soft, plastic material is flexible and durable, so it can sustain any grinding. Since it is made from plastic, this softens grinding so your teeth won’t clench against each other.
Aside from saving your teeth and jaw from future pain and damage, nightguards can improve your sleep quality and even help prevent headaches and migraines.
What are the Benefits of a Custom-Fit Nightguard?
Like an athletic mouthguard, there are quick and simple nightguard solutions you can purchase at the store. Most major pharmacies offer boil-and-bite nightguards that you can take home and use that same night.
While partially customizable, store-bought nightguards won’t fit or work as well as one that’s made specifically for your mouth.
This is why, at Dentistry at Millennium Park, we recommend getting a custom-made nightguard. During your next dental exam, we can take a look at your teeth and determine any particular areas impacted by bruxism, then create a plan to get you fitted for a nightguard and treat your night grinding and clenching symptoms.
Looking for a Nightguard in Chicago?
At Dentistry at Millennium Park, our team specializes in preventative dentistry solutions for both children and adults. Call our office at (312) 750-9000 to discuss nightguards and your options for diagnosis and treatment of bruxism.