Nightguards for Teeth Grinding
Nighttime tooth grinding is a sleep disorder that can have serious side effects. Also known as “sleep bruxism,” adults who grind their teeth may awake to a headache, sore jaw joints, sore jaw muscles, or chipped and worn teeth. In some cases, there may be no symptoms, but the noise of your teeth grinding may disrupt your sleep or the sleep of your family members.
Tooth grinding occurs more frequently in children; most outgrow it by age twelve. However, it’s not uncommon for adults to begin grinding their teeth during times of stress or anxiety. According to one study, about 8 percent of adults grind their teeth while asleep.
To protect your teeth and prevent tooth grinding and further damage from occurring, we at Carolina Family Dental recommend scheduling an appointment with Dr. Banik to see if a custom nightguard may be right for you.
Nightguards put a barrier between your teeth to prevent grinding. The barrier cushions the jaw muscles and protects your teeth enamel. People also often find they stop snoring problems. You might hear them called mouthguards, bite plates, or bite splints, though in our uses, mouthguard usually refers to the type used by athletes.
You can purchase nightguards over-the-counter, but a custom nightguard will feel more comfortable and last longer.
Contact us or ask us on your next visit about making a custom nightguard.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tooth Grinding
- What causes nighttime tooth grinding?
The cause of nighttime tooth grinding is not well understood. We know that some people are more susceptible to it than others. We also know that those people who grind their teeth may not do so every night.
- Who is at high risk for nighttime tooth grinding?
There are certain risk factors that are associated with nighttime tooth grinding. The risk factors for nighttime tooth grinding include:
- Airway problems
- Untreated bite problems
- Certain medications
- Certain neurologic disorders
- What can I do to minimize my risk of future nighttime tooth grinding?
In addition to wearing a custom nightguard, you can minimize your risk of nighttime tooth grinding by diagnosing and correcting any bite problems or nighttime airway issues. Dr. Banik may also recommend managing stress or excessive weight problems.
- What will happen if I choose to do nothing about my nighttime tooth grinding?
Nighttime tooth grinding that is left untreated may cause permanent damage to your jaw joint and teeth. Besides breaking and wearing down teeth, grinding irritates the nerves in your teeth and can cause hot, cold, and chewing pain in your teeth themselves. Tooth grinding may also lead to chronic headaches and chewing muscle sensitivity during the day.