At Geelan Dental Care, we have helped many teeth grinding sufferers find relief. Teeth grinding, or bruxism is a condition that mostly occurs during the nighttime and is often coupled with jaw clenching. It is very common, particularly in children and older male adults, but unfortunately has no cure. The condition can, however, be well managed with the use of mouthguards to reduce the effects.
Nocturnal teeth grinding is often done unconsciously, and it can take a long time for some sufferers even to realize that they do it. Some symptoms that can help in confirming this diagnosis include worn down teeth, sensitivity, soreness of the jaw, and frequent disruption of sleep. We can help in assessing your symptoms and confirming if bruxism is the correct diagnosis.
The condition has been linked to many possible causes, including sleep apnea, poor teeth occlusion, depression, high alcohol or caffeine intake, and neurodegenerative disorders. It is not unusual for a sufferer to be plagued by more than one of these conditions. While treatment of these conditions can sometimes help, it does not fully cure the bruxing. With a correctly fitted mouthguard, there can be a significant improvement in quality of life.
Choosing a Mouthguard
Stock mouthguards and ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards are commercially available options that are not professionally custom fit. Stock mouthguards are pre-formed, and this means they often leave gaps and are misaligned to the teeth over which they are worn. This causes discomfort and can even interfere with breathing and swallowing. This makes them unsuitable for nighttime use. The boil and bite options can fit better as the warm plastic can be pressed down over the teeth to make a better mold.
Custom-fit anti bruxism mouthguards are however the best option as they are perfectly adjusted to fit snugly against the entire tooth surface. This better fit also ensures that the guard will last longer. They tend to be more comfortable and provide more effective cushioning when grinding occurs. We will discuss with you on whether it is better to have a mouthguard fitted to the top or bottom row of teeth.
As mentioned, some conditions have been linked to the occurrence of teeth grinding. With sleep apnea cases, weight loss, changes to sleeping positions, and even surgery may be prescribed. Those that suffer from depression or stress can be advised to undertake counseling, drug therapy, and adopt relaxing habits like meditation. For bruxism sufferers that consume excessive alcohol or caffeine, healthier changes in diet can be helpful. We do, however, still advise the use of mouthguards at night as any positive results can take a while to materialize.
Read more about bruxism.
Recurrent teeth grinding will often result in more severe damage to teeth. This means greater expense and physical discomfort. The best way to limit this suffering is to use a custom fit mouthguard. To find out more on how you can reduce teeth grinding symptoms and get the most effective mouthguard protection, contact Geelan Dental Care on (971) 323-1990 now.