What is Bruxism?
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is very common and not always consciously done. While many people grind their teeth when trapped in traffic or during a long day of work, bruxism can frequently appear at night while you sleep.
Here are some common symptoms that may indicate nighttime bruxism:
- Waking up with a dull headache
- Soreness or pain in the jaw or face
- Inability to sleep well
- Teeth look or feel ground down
The exact cause of why people grind their teeth is unknown, but it’s believed stress can be a major contributor. While everyone grinds their teeth from time to time, persistent bruxism can cause long-term damage to your teeth and enamel. It’s possible to break or even lose a tooth if it gets clenched too hard or for too long.
What Is a Dental Night Guard?
You may have heard a dental night guard referred to by other names, like a mouthguard, bite splint, or dental guard. A dental night guard can make for an easy treatment solution for bruxism to reduce teeth clenching at night and provide better rest.
A dental night guard works by putting a barrier between your upper and lower teeth to reduce the surface contact. Depending on the severity of the case, a night guard may come as soft, hard, or dual laminate (soft on the inside and hard on the outside) material.
Dental night guards work to lessen the tension from your clenched jaw by cushioning the muscles, which protects both your teeth and facial muscles.
It’s best to see a dentist for a proper night guard treatment plan. A dental professional can recommend which type of mouthguard is best for your condition and help ensure it’s accurately fitted to your jaw.
Dr. Michael Pollowitz & Dr. Sharon Brown at Washington Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry specialize in bruxism treatment and helping patients in need of dental night guards in the Washington, DC area.
If you have any questions about dental night guards or how they can improve your dental health, contact us today! We can help you relieve jaw pain and protect your teeth with a dental night guard tailored just for you.