Night Guards for Teeth Grinding

Night Guards for Teeth Grinding in Alexandria, MN

Sometimes patients need a little extra help to maintain a healthy set of teeth. Regular brushing and flossing can help prevent cavities and diseases, but they cannot do much for stopping teeth from wearing down or cracking. Patients with these issues often come to us wondering how their teeth ended up in such bad shape. For many of them, the answer is bruxism.

Bruxism involves the grinding of teeth, and can quickly wear down teeth, even causing them to crack or break on occasion. Most people with bruxism grind their teeth while they sleep. Dr. Joseph Haack can create a night guard for you that will cease the grinding, saving your teeth and allowing you a good night’s sleep.

How to Treat Teeth Grinding and Bruxism

Night guards are used to treat teeth grinding. Whether the grinding is new or a lifelong habit, it’s often difficult to tell whether it’s due to current stress or a serious chronic problem. Teeth grinding and clenching typically occur at night, while patients are asleep. Therefore, many patients don’t seek diagnosis or treatment.

Common Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

  • Waking up with a headache
  • Tenderness or pain in the jaw
  • Unexplained damage to teeth
  • Clicking or chattering noises

The Dangers of Teeth Grinding

As you touch your teeth together and grind back and forth, you can put a lot of pressure on the enamel. As a result, you could actually damage your teeth in your sleep. These problems may lead to cavities and become expensive to fix. Some people experience teeth grinding periodically because of temporary issues, such as stress at work. However, if you suffer from teeth grinding most nights, you may have chronic bruxism. To prevent further damage, ask your dentist about a mouth guard for teeth grinding. While it won’t stop the actual clenching of your jaw, a mouth guard minimizes the negative effects on your teeth due to teeth grinding.

How Does a Night Guard Work

A night guard will be worn throughout sleep, for approximately 8 consecutive hours, 7 days a week. As a result, optimal comfort should be an important factor. Mouth guards for sports are typically bulkier because they designed to protect the whole tooth below the gum line, while night guards are only necessary for the teeth and biting surfaces. In addition, having bacteria trapped against our gingival tissues for the entire duration of sleep may be extremely harmful to gum health.

Unlike sports guards, night guards feature holes designed specifically to maintain normal saliva flow and prevent against bacteria. Mouth guards for sports do not feature these breathable holes. Therefore, bacteria levels would increase, which maximizes risk for gingivitis and gum disease.

If you would like to learn more about night guards, call our Alexandria, MN dental office today at (320) 763-7484 to request a consultation with Dr. Haack.