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teeth grinding

How to Protect your Teeth from Nighttime Teeth Grinding


Waking up daily with jaw pain or excruciating headaches can make it incredibly challenging to take on the day. Patients who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ are all too familiar with the debilitating pain. However, those who clench or grind their teeth at night or that have bruxism may also experience painful symptoms and severe dental damage that requires extensive and expensive treatments. Therefore, our TMJ specialists in Lake Forest share on the blog today how to protect your teeth from nighttime clenching and grinding so that you can reduce your dental expenses and maintain a comfortable, healthy smile.

Night Guard Benefits

Prevent Tooth Damage

When you wear a night guard, you eliminate the risk of your upper and lower teeth coming into touch with one another while you are sleeping. Grinding your teeth is typical behavior that may cause significant damage to your teeth over time. Teeth become more sensitive as a consequence of grinding because it wears the protective enamel away. One additional issue that might arise from grinding is the destruction of fillings. If you grind your teeth vigorously enough, you run the risk of chipping or even breaking your teeth.

Reduce Jaw Tension and Pain

Another typical behavior that occurs when individuals are sleeping is clenching their jaw. Intense bite pressures may cause jaw stress and discomfort and lead to more advanced conditions like TMJ disorder. Fortunately, our dentists in Lake Forest that treat TMJ disorder explain that nightguards can absorb most of the pressure while protecting your jaw joints and teeth.

Reduce Headaches

If you wake up with headaches consistently, you could be causing them by clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth while you are asleep. This activity may produce discomfort in the jaw and ears, as well as pain in the neck and muscle tiredness. These problems may be avoided to some degree with the use of a night guard that is created specifically for your mouth.

Inhibit Snoring

When you clench your jaw, it may cause a narrowing of the airways, impeding airflow, which in turn can cause snoring. Our Lake Forest dentists who treat bruxism explain that the use of a night guard prevents your upper and lower jaws from coming into contact with one another as you sleep. If you sleep with your jaws slightly apart, you will be able to take in greater air volume than if you sleep with them together. Your ability to breathe more easily and with less effort is facilitated by the increase in airflow, and your snoring will be significantly reduced.

What’s the difference between over-the-counter night guards and custom ones?

Not all night guards are created the same and provide the best protection. Aside from the obvious cost difference, there are quality and protection differences between an over-the-counter night guard and a custom one. For example, an over-the-counter night guard may be manufactured with a lower-grade plastic that’s not the best material to withstand the intense pressure you create when clenching and grinding your teeth. Additionally, mass-manufactured nightguards fail to fully protect your smile if they don’t properly fit your mouth. Custom nightguards fit each patient’s mouth according to their smile structure and can thoroughly protect your teeth and gums.

Bruxism Treatment in Lake Forest and Lincolnshire

No one wants to live with chronic pain. But, when you clench and grind your teeth while sleeping, you can expect to wake with some jaw or headache pain every day. Even though over-the-counter and prescription medication can ease your pain in the short term, the sensations won’t stop and will only increase in intensity until you receive treatment that addresses the underlying condition. Therefore, if you clench and grind your teeth or you already know you have the condition, now is the time to stop the pain and get a better night’s sleep and pain-free days. Therefore, we encourage you to call Lake Forest Smiles at (847) 234-4800 or contact us online to request a consultation today.

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