6 Signs That You Need to Wear a Mouth Guard to Sleep
Bruxism is a dental condition that involves clenching and grinding the teeth. Unfortunately, most people experience these symptoms while they are asleep, so if you suffer from the condition, there is little you can do to stop on your own. A nighttime mouth guard may help, and some specific signs may indicate that you should invest in one.
You Start off Your Day with a Headache
There are few things worse than waking up early on a Monday morning with a pounding headache. If you frequently start off your day with headaches, you may be grinding your teeth at night. In these situations, a mouth guard can dramatically improve your comfort level, allowing you to wake up refreshed in the morning. The right night guard will relieve jaw pressure.
You Chip a Tooth
If your teeth seem more fragile than ever and chip easily, nighttime grinding may be the culprit. Grinding the teeth puts an unnatural amount of force on the enamel, and while the enamel is the strongest substance in your body, it isn’t completely immune to damage. Chips or breaks that result from grinding can be painful, expensive to repair, and may lead to cavities, so it is best to avoid these problems with a nighttime mouth guard.
You Experience Jaw Pain
The temporomandibular joints are responsible for your ability to open your mouth, eat, chew, and speak properly. With bruxism, added pressure is placed onto those joints, often leading to temporomandibular joint disorders and pain. A bruxism mouth guard can reduce the stress placed onto your jaw at night, which can ultimately reduce your jaw pain and discomfort.
Your Teeth Feel Flat
When you run your tongue over your molars, do they feel flat? Does it seem like the grooves aren’t as deep as they once were? If these scenarios ring true for you, you may be grinding your teeth at night, and the problem has likely gone on for a long time. Long-term clenching and grinding will wear out the chewing surfaces. The effects won’t be apparent right away, but with time, you may notice that your molars feel flatter or shorter. To prevent further damage, you need to consider a night guard.
You Can’t Stop Chewing on Non-Food Items
Do you have a habit of chewing on non-food items during the day? If so, this could be a sign that you clench and grind your teeth while you sleep. Chewing on pens, ice, gum, or other items during the waking hours reinforces the habit of grinding. Once you fall asleep at night, your body is likely to continue the behavior. If you train your body to stop gnawing on these items during the day, you might stop grinding at night, but a mouth guard is still a wise investment.
Your Partner Complains
Your nighttime grinding might not just impact you. In fact, if your partner is a light sleeper, he may complain that you make chattering or clicking noises while you slumber. This is often the sign of a serious problem. If grinding your teeth makes an audible sound that others in the room notice, and you should consult with your dentist for treatment options.
Unfortunately, a cure for nighttime grinding doesn’t exist, but with a mouth guard, you can protect your teeth from further damage. Talk to your dentist today about whether a mouth guard might keep your teeth healthy and safe against bruxism.
Lefko Centre Dentaire de l’Aéroport
Dr. Ioannis (Yannis) Gkomouzas