Keeping your teeth healthy and safe
Teeth grinding – or if you prefer the medical term, bruxism – affects many adults and children. Sore jaws, teeth-grinding headaches, muscle aches, neck and muscle aches or even chronic teeth-grinding, while you sleep, are symptoms and can cause serious problems to your teeth.
The causes of teeth grinding range from stress and anxiety to smoking, depression and sleep disorders. Perhaps your top and bottom teeth are not properly aligned, either because of tooth shape or misaligned jaw. This causes your teeth to meet in an unnatural place when you close your mouth, which can promote grinding. Finally, a variety of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, have been linked to cases of bruxism.
Why use mouth guards or night guards? Because keeping your teeth healthy and intact is crucial, and our top priority. LG Dental Centre offers our patients various dental appliances – such as mouth guards and night guards – to keep your teeth safe.
What is Bruxism?
Do you wake up in the morning with a sore jaw or headaches? If so, you might be part of the 8% of people who grind their teeth at night.
Bruxism is the clinical term for teeth grinding, which can cause severe dental issues if it is left untreated. Some of the more superficial symptoms of bruxism are dull headaches, chewing of your inner cheek, a sore jaw, or painful teeth, generally when you wake up. In the long-term, teeth grinding can cause you to wear away your enamel, eventually leading to microfractures. Grinding also puts a tremendous amount of strain on your temporomandibular joint, which causes the headaches and a sore, clenched jaw. Bruxism isn’t usually noticed until it starts to cause major issues, which is another reason why regular checkups with your dentist to check for signs of worn-down, grinded teeth are necessary.
What are the treatments for Bruxism?
There is no “cure” for bruxism, although we can greatly reduce or complete eliminate the symptoms with. mouth guard. If you are diagnosed, we would recommend that you be fitted for a night guard (also called a bite plate) as soon as possible. Resembling the mouth guards that boxers wear, a night guard is a fitted piece of plastic that goes over top of your teeth. This prevents you from grinding them together at night, protecting your enamel. It can also provide cushioning, reducing any jaw clenching or soreness you might feel in the morning.
What is a night guard?
Night guards for teeth-grinding – also called occlusal splints – are removable dental appliances that are carefully molded to fit the upper or lower arches of teeth. They are typically made of a heat-cured acrylic resin. Additionally, night guards are usually used on either the upper or the lower teeth, termed maxillary splints or mandibular splints. Covering your teeth with a night guard will simultaneously diminish pain in your jaw and protect your teeth.
There are several reasons for our doctors to present a night guard as your treatment option:
• To protect your teeth.
• To ease muscle tension and stabilize the jaw.
• To help reduce teeth wear caused by grinding.
Sports mouth guards
Do you or your children play sports? If so, a sports mouth guard may benefit your family. Sports mouth guards can be used by anyone who plays contact sports. However, even those participating in other recreational activities and non-contact sports pose the risk of injury to the mouth. Everyone can benefit from wearing a protective mouth guard when engaging in these activities. With a sports mouth guard being custom-fit, you will be doing your best to keep your mouth safe and reduce the risk of concussion. Our custom sports mouth guards will fit comfortably in your mouth so you can breathe, swallow, and talk with ease.
LG Dental Centre offers mouth and night guards in a wide variety of colours and patterns so that you can choose one to suit your personality.
What steps are involved in preparing for a mouth guard?
Custom-fitted mouth guards are individually designed and made at our clinic. You will be scheduled for a 30-minute appointment at which time a custom impression of your mouth will be taken. Our doctors will fabricate your guard from this impression, and your mouth or night guard will be ready 1-2 days later. At this time, you will try it on to ensure it is comfortable. Our doctors will make any fit adjustments necessary during your appointment. The first time you wear it, you might find it a bit uncomfortable, but after a few days your mouth will adjust and you will hardly even notice it as you fall into a restful sleep.
If you think you could benefit from a mouth guard for sleeping, or a sports guard, stop by LG Dental Centre or give us a call to book an appointment – 647-370-5673.