Bruxism & Mouthguards
Bruxism is a sleep disorder in which an individual grinds their teeth during their sleep. This can be damaging to the teeth, as it wears down the enamel, and can possibly fracture a tooth. The disorder is often related to stress and anxiety, but bruxism can also be due to diet and medication. Summit Dental Care uses mouthguards as a simple but effective treatment for bruxism. While wearing a mouthguard, your teeth are fully protected from potential grinding.
Symptoms of Bruxism
Bruxism causes grinding of the teeth at night, which may become apparent to the patient by either a partner telling them they hear a grinding noise or from the repercussive symptoms in the day time. During the day, the patient will have jaw pain, headaches, and fatigue. Bruxism often wakes the individual during the night, and therefore their sleep becomes disturbed. This causes tiredness and lack of energy during the day, and is the symptom that often causes patients to approach us for treatment. In the long term, teeth can become worn down at a faster rate than normal, and even crack or fracture. While bruxism can be resolved without a mouthguard if the patient makes changes to their life that result in the ceasing of bruxism, a mouthguard is an effective way to prevent damage to the teeth and to enjoy an uninterrupted night of sleep.
Why Should I Use a Mouthguard at Night?
Mouthguards will prevent damage to the patient's teeth when bruxism's symptoms are exhibited, as the plastic of the mouthguard will take the impact of the grinding instead of the teeth themselves. This not only prevents permanent damage to the patient's teeth, but it will prevent the patient from waking up during the night. It is the sustained pressure on the teeth that wakes up an individual who is suffering from bruxism, and therefore a mouthguard allows them to sleep soundly. The mouthguard also prevents the daytime symptoms as the individual is now experiencing normal sleep and is not having the repercussive symptoms of fatigue and headaches. If any over-the-counter medication was being taken for jaw pain, that can be concluded as the jaw pain will have stopped.
How Is a Mouthguard Fitted?
Our dentists will take a mold of the patient's teeth and send it to the dental lab. At the lab, the dental technicians will use the impression of the patient's teeth to create a perfectly fitting mouthguard. The patient will be able to choose the colors and any lettering they want to be included in the mouthguard. Cheaper boil-and-bite mouthguards are available in sports stores, but these are unwieldy and can slip from the teeth. They are more difficult for breathing and therefore may not be suitable for nighttime use. Our professionals do not advise the use of these mouthguards.
Summit Dental Care offers custom-fit mouthguards to patients suffering from sleep-related disorders. Our team can make a mouthguard that will fit snugly in your mouth and allow you to experience a good night's rest once more. To book your consultation appointment now, contact our office at 206-292-9980.