Some people may require a night mouth guard because of a condition known as Bruxism. Bruxism, also commonly known as teeth grinding or clenching, is painful and destructive for the teeth. It is a common condition affecting many individuals. It is treated through night mouthguards, also known as nocturnal bite plates or bite splints, and similar to sports guards worn for physical activity. The right type of mouthguard for a patient is prescribed depending on the severity of bruxism. Many individuals are not aware of the fact they suffer from bruxism. Our experts at Elliott Dentistry recommend that you immediately get a checkup if you experience the associated symptoms.
Occasional grinding does not have any adverse effects. However, long term bruxism can cause broken teeth, enamel loss, and in more severe cases, tooth loss. When suffering from bruxism, the common symptoms are teeth grinding, waking up with a dull headache, facial pain, and jaw soreness. Affected individuals may also experience fatigue from lack of sleep. The exact source of bruxism is not known, but stress and anxiety are said to play a leading role. Also, there can be other causes, including alcoholism, caffeine, smoking, snoring, sleep apnea, crooked teeth, or an abnormal bite.
How Do Night Mouthguards Protect the Teeth?
When you place the mouthguard between your teeth before sleeping, it acts as a protective barrier. If you clench your jaw during sleep, the night mouthguard lightens tension and cushions the jaw muscles, providing a great deal of relief. The cushioning helps prevent jaw and facial pain and protects the tooth enamel from acquiring damage.
General Types of Night Mouthguards
They come in various types like custom-fitted, boil-and-bite, and one-size-fits-all. Custom-fitted mouthguards are built-in dental laboratories. Our dentist takes impressions of your mouth, which act as a guide for building the night guard. They are known for their strength and fit perfectly since they are made according to the unique shape of the mouth. Custom-fitted mouthguards are recommended for individuals with braces.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are made up of a thermoplastic material. They are adjusted according to the mouth’s shape by placing the mouthguard in hot water and placing it around the teeth. The individual then bites down on it for about twenty minutes. It is then placed under running cold water for the mouthguard to harden. The steps can be repeated if the mouthguard loosens.
One-size-fits-all mouthguards are available ready to wear. They do not fit perfectly and are bulky. Since they are not designed according to the individual’s mouth, they can make breathing difficult.
Types of Night Mouthguards Depending on Bruxism Severity
Depending on the bruxism severity, three types of night mouthguards are prescribed: soft night mouthguards, dual laminate night mouthguards, hard night mouthguards. The need for each type is discussed below.
Individuals suffering from mild bruxism are prescribed soft night guards. They are the most comfortable type, and the patient adjusts to them quickly.
Dual laminate night guards are prescribed for individuals with moderately severe bruxism. They can handle heavy clenching and grinding and are long-lasting.
Severe cases of grinding and TMD/TMJ are treated through hard night guards. They are made up of acrylic and are extremely tough. They are durable and prevent the teeth from shifting. Elliott Dentistry experts can be reached out through 971-274-4360 for further information and queries on night mouthguards.