Three Signs That You Can Benefit From a Dental Night Guard

Three Signs That You Can Benefit From a Dental Night Guard

One of the most overlooked but most beneficial dental therapies is a dental night guard. As the name implies, night guards are used to protect the teeth during sleep from the harmful effects of what is known as “bruxism.” Bruxism refers to the grinding or clenching of teeth. Although seemingly innocuous, grinding and clenching of the teeth can have severe consequences, even over a short period of time. Because bruxism is usually involuntary, night guards are a great way to protect the teeth from inadvertent damage. Here are three signs that you may stand to benefit from a dental night guard.

You Wake Up With Headaches

A common symptom of nighttime tooth grinding or clenching is headaches first thing in the morning. These kinds of headaches are usually felt on the sides of the head near the temples, spreading upward and outward in a fan-like shape on the side of the skull. Many people will have associated pain in the jaw. These kinds of headaches result from the constant tension the muscles have been under all night during episodes of bruxism. Dental night guards not only protect the teeth, they help mediate these types of headaches and other jaw pains that come with nighttime grinding.

Cracked, Worn, or Chipped Teeth

The forces exerted on the teeth by grinding and clenching are more than enough to cause premature wear and even cracking and chipping of the teeth, If you notice that your front teeth have rough, uneven edges, you may be grinding your teeth at night or even during they day subconsciously. Back teeth that are subject to bruxism often appear flattened out or have small pits in them known as wear facets. The presence of these signs mean your teeth are being damaged by grinding and should be protected by a night guard.

Changes in the Way Your Teeth Fit Together

If you feel as though your teeth do not fit together like they used to, odds are you are probably grinding your teeth at night. The effect of an altered bite occurs when the surfaces of the teeth are worn down or, in severe cases, the teeth begin to shift due to the constant forces exerted on them. Dental night guards can help halt this process.
There are many different types of night guards, including some that can be bought over-the-counter. For the best results, though, a custom-made night guard from your dentist is the appliance of choice. These are slimmer, more comfortable, and designed to fir you teeth exactly, making them highly effective.

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