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When a Night Guard Is Recommended for Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism, is a prevalent condition among adults and children. Read on to learn more about how this condition is addressed. Initially, it might not be a cause for concern, but if you start to experience tooth pain, jaw ache, headache, and damage to the teeth, you need to talk to a dentist about possible solutions. Dentists are trained to identify bruxism signs and usually recommend getting a nightguard to protect the teeth.
When is a nightguard needed for teeth grinding?
Nightguards are also called mouthguards, occlusal guards, and bite splints. They look like retainers and are designed to fit over the upper or lower set of teeth. The night guard serves as a cushion between the teeth and absorbs the force generated by grinding. This helps to prevent the consequences of rubbing the teeth against each other. The following are situations where a dentist might recommend getting a night guard:
A chipped tooth needs to undergo dental restoration but could also be an indication that the teeth grinding situation has worsened. Rubbing the teeth over each other in a back-and-forth motion inflicts an undue force on the enamel. Considering it happens unconsciously during sleep, there is a significant risk of damaging the teeth. Before the damage gets worse than it already is and causes other issues like cavities or infection, it is advisable to discuss with a dentist and get a nightguard for protection.
Almost everyone grinds their teeth occasionally, especially when dealing with stress. If the condition has worsened to the point of grinding every night, it is advisable to visit the dentist for assistance. Although fitting a nightguard does not really prevent jaw clenching or teeth grinding, it can reduce its effects on the teeth.
If morning headaches have become persistent each morning, one might be dealing with the consequences of nighttime grinding. A nightguard can help. The dentist may recommend relaxation exercises to try before sleep and minimize grinding.
Temporomandibular joint disorder
This disorder develops due to inflammation of the jaw muscles, which jaw clenching and teeth grinding can cause. The undue stress on the jaw can eventually cause jaw pain and other symptoms. If the dentist discovers that a patient is dealing with TMJ disorder, they will suggest a mouthguard. The mouthguard will limit jaw clenching and teeth grinding and reduce the pain resulting from TMJ disorder.
Use of antidepressants
Patients taking antidepressants may need to talk to their dentist about getting a night guard. According to a study published in 2012 by Clinics, paroxetine, an active ingredient in many antidepressants, can contribute to nighttime teeth grinding. It is better to get the nightguard and shield the teeth from the side effects. Patients can also discuss modifying the dosage or changing their medications with their physician if they start dealing with grinding.
The bottom line
Teeth grinding might be prevalent, but there is no reason to endure the consequences. Make an appointment with our dental office to get a custom-made nightguard and other recommendations to control this habit.
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