What is Bruxism?
Approximately 1/3rd of people tend to brux (grind/clench) their teeth. This is more of a subconscious action but bruxism has numerous side-effects. If the bone support in your mouth has weakened, grinding or clenching the teeth can be very painful. Using a night guard negates the adverse effects of bruxism such as:
- Mobile Teeth
- Teeth that drift
- Teeth wearing
- Increase in bone loss
- Clicking joints
- Clefting/recession of the gum tissue
- Root surface erodes in a “V” shape
- TMJ- Joint stiffness/soreness
It is not very easy to determine exactly why people brux their teeth. It’s more of a habit and a bruxer’s teeth might be in contact for several hours a day. Normally, teeth are together for not more than 6 minutes per day. A bruxer tends to grind/clench teeth more when he/she is stressed. During the waking hours, you are able to tell yourself not to brux your teeth, but this does not happen while you are sleeping. Wearing a night guard will prevent your teeth from coming into contact with each other, accidentally.
The Right Care for your Dental Night Guard
- When the night guard is not in use, keep it clean and immerse it in water
- Adding a denture cleaner or a dentist recommended product helps in removing stains and killing the germs
- Clean the inside of the night guard with a toothbrush
- Take care not to drop the night guard as it can break
- Always store the night guard in a container of water as this will prevent it from being misplaced/stepped on.
Take the night guard on every visit to the dentist. If we do a lower crown/filling, your bite will have to be aligned with the night guard surface. If an upper crown/filling is placed, we will have to reline the tooth area with plastic.
The Right Use of a Night Guard
Most people are surprised at how soon they adapt to using the night guard. They hardly even notice that they are wearing it and most people even tend to sleep better as the muscles and joints of the mouth are able to rest. We have noticed that many patients suffering from bruxism also stop complaining about symptoms like headaches, face & muscle soreness, joint pain, neck aches and ringing ears. Contact us if any of these symptoms persist even after you have used the night guard for a few days.
We will conduct a thorough check and if necessary, might refer you to a temporomandibular joint specialist. If you feel any discomfort while wearing your night guard or have any other problems with it, we can make slight modifications that will help you. Call Dr. Mansbridge, your Hamilton family dentistry clinic, if you think you might be grinding your teeth at (905) 662-6700 in Stoney Creek, Ontario. We are a family dentistry and are always accepting new patients of any age.
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