Teeth grinding during sleep is a common problem that can cause dental issues. While many people experience symptoms such as jaw and teeth pain, some people might not even be aware that they are grinding until a bed partner notices. If you do experience symptoms, they may also include facial tenderness and difficulty sleeping. Our specialist for metal braces in Alabaster explains how a night guard may help prevent tooth damage from grinding.
Symptoms and Causes
Even if you aren’t aware that you grind your teeth, our orthodontist will be able to see evidence on the surfaces of your molars if you have long-term, consistent grinding. This habit changes the shape and texture of your teeth and can even cause broken teeth, loss of tooth enamel, and in severe cases, tooth loss. Additionally, some symptoms include:
- Headaches upon waking
- Sore jaw
- Facial pain
Some causes of teeth grinding include stress and anxiety. Other causes may also be caffeine, alcohol use, cigarettes, crooked teeth, sleep apnea, snoring, an abnormal bite.
The majority of nighttime teeth grinding can be addressed with a night guard. Night guards are also referred to as mouth guards, dental guards, or bite splints — they simply create a barrier between your teeth to prevent damage from grinding and relieve tension in the jaw. You can purchase these over-the-counter. However, custom-made night guards have a better fit and can be more comfortable during sleep.
There are a few different ways they can be fitted, and the type that will work best for you depends on your individual needs.
Types of Night Guards
There are a few types of night guards, including:
- Soft Night Guard — this is the most common type and is used for mild or occasional cases, not for severe teeth grinders.
- Dual Laminate Night Guards — this is for moderate to severe teeth grinding. They are soft on the inside, hard on the outside.
Ask about night guards during your next appointment!
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The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about retainers or other topics related to orthodontics, feel free to contact Birmingham Orthodontics with convenient offices in Alabaster by clicking here or by calling 205.635.7824.