Many people occasionally grind their teeth. When this happens from time to time, the damage is typically insignificant. For severe forms of tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, the negative impact can range from severe wear and tear of tooth enamel to temporomandibular joint disorders and jaw tenderness, among others.
A night guard is a protective device worn over teeth to protect against nighttime tooth grinding. Night guards are similar to sports guards in function, except that they’re worn at night while one is asleep. Night guards are also made from a thinner material compared to mouthguards as there’s no need to cushion against forceful impacts.
If you clench your teeth at night, it could be a result of many reasons. For some people, high stress and anxiety levels are contributing factors. If you have bite problems or sleep apnea, you have high chances of struggling with nighttime tooth grinding as well.
It’s crucial to remember that you may be unaware of your nighttime tooth grinding habits until a sleep partner brings this to your attention. Our dentist may also detect signs of tooth grinding during your twice-yearly dental exams.
We begin with a thorough, collaborative consultation during which our dentist seeks to get to the bottom of your dental problem. If you’re grinding your teeth because of misaligned teeth, our dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment as a long-term intervention. For patients who struggle with tooth grinding because of stress and anxiety, our dentist may suggest stress management practices.
Next, our dentist takes dental impressions. These impressions form the creation of a custom, well-fitting, and comfortable night guard. Our dentist will advise you on the best time to pick up your night guard. The waiting period ranges from several days to two weeks, depending on the dental lab’s schedule.
Besides wearing a night guard, we encourage our patients to schedule regular dental exams with our dentist. This way, our dentist can check you for any dental problems before they escalate into more complicated issues.
Contact Edgartown Dental Group today if you’d like a night guard to protect your teeth against nighttime bruxism and the long-term effects.