Are you lying down at night expecting to get a good night's sleep, only to wake up with a massive headache, tooth pain, and an aching jaw? If you're suffering from restless nights and painful mornings, you may be part of the 10-15% of Americans who grind their teeth.
Also known as "bruxism", grinding your teeth when you sleep is a miserable condition to have, but fortunately is very easy to treat. Most symptoms of bruxism vanish after fitting with a custom nighttime mouth guard, and we here at Wendy Sanger DMD Cosmetic + Family Dentistry can get you back on the path of restful nights and pain-free days.
Three Ways Nighttime Mouth Guards Can Benefit You
While mouth guards are also a great way to treat TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction), patients who grind their teeth notice immediate relief from their symptoms once they start using a mouth guard at night.
If you're noticing any of these symptoms, there's a good chance that you grind your teeth at night:
- Pain in your teeth or jaw
- Chipped, flattened, or loose teeth
- Enamel that has been eroded away
- Clicking or locked jaw
- Dull, earache-type pain
- Chronic headache radiating from your temples
- Broken, interrupted sleep
- Abrasions on the inside of your cheek
Many people are surprised to discover that they have been grinding their teeth at night; while this condition is very common, it can evade diagnosis for quite a while before sufferers realize they've been doing it. Stress tends to be a fairly common trigger for bruxism, but other factors such as medical conditions (like epilepsy, dementia, and even GERD) and medications (like antidepressants, for instance) can cause it to happen.
While it's tempting to try to wish your bruxism away, a mouth guard is an indispensable resource for those who suffer from it. If you're hesitating about getting fitted with a custom mouthguard, consider these three ways a nighttime mouth guard can help you:
- Protection for Your Teeth. A mouth guard can help safeguard your teeth from the effects of bruxism, including chipped teeth, eroded enamel, damage to your fillings, and loose teeth.
- A Better Night Sleep. Grinding your teeth can interrupt your sleep, leading to poor and broken sleep patterns. A mouth guard can help relax some of the tension in your mouth, giving you a better quality of sleep at night.
- Relief from Headaches. The pain and misery associated with grinding your teeth will be greatly reduced once you are fitted with a mouth guard. You will notice fewer headaches, earaches, and jaw and neck pain once you start using your mouth guard regularly.
Many people report less overall pain after switching to a custom-fitted mouth guard to help their bruxism. Furthermore, mouth guards aren't just for people who grind their teeth - snoring, for instance, is dramatically reduced when mouth guards are introduced. People with poor jaw alignment start to notice an improvement in their pain levels, too, after using a mouth guard.
The benefits of a nighttime mouth guard are numerous and can cause immediate relief for aches and pains that have been plaguing you. If you're noticing poor sleep, ongoing headaches that start in your temples, earaches, and jaw and tooth pain, you may be a good candidate for a custom mouth guard. Please give us a call to determine if you could benefit from a custom night guard and allow us to help you start feeling better!