Millions of people have a problem that they might be completely unaware of. This issue is known as teeth grinding and it can result in a myriad of dental and health problems.
There are two types of bruxism: teeth grinding that is done while you're awake and grinding that is done while sleeping. A mouth guard for teeth grinding can be incredibly helpful in reducing and eliminating the effects of grinding.
What is Teeth Grinding?
Teeth grinding is an incredibly common condition that affects millions of people all over the world. It is most often done at night when a person is completely unaware that they are doing it. In fact, most people don't find out about their tooth grinding dilemma until a loved one hears it at night and lets them know about it. In other cases, a person might grind their teeth during the day due to stress or habit.
Because of our often stressful lives, it's not incredibly uncommon to find yourself clenching your jaw when you're totally unaware of what you're doing. Teeth grinding involves a clenched jaw and a sawing motion that can eventually wear down the crowns of the teeth, resulting in cracking, breaking and enamel erosion.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
There is a wide range of reasons why a person might spend their day or night grinding all their dentition. Most often, tooth grinding is done at night while a person is asleep. Nighttime grinding can be the result of an abnormal bite or missing teeth, which causes your jaw to find the right position in which to get comfortable. Other reasons for teeth grinding at night involve sleep apnea and snoring. During the day, tooth grinding is almost always caused by stress and anxiety. Athletes involved in sports are likely to grind under the pressure of their game and people working hectic fast-paced jobs are likely to grind without even being aware of it. When grinding, the jaw tightens, and the teeth lock together. This is often done without the person even being fully aware of it, especially in stressful situations.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
If you suspect that you are grinding, the first step is to purchase a mouth guard for teeth grinding to stop the harmful effects. Next, it's crucial that you figure out what is causing your grinding and to become aware of the problem. If it's a medical ailment, such as sleep apnea, it is important to seek treatment when needed.
If your grinding is stress or anxiety-related, utilizing relaxation techniques throughout the day should help to qualm any anxiety that you're feeling. Getting to the root cause of your grinding is essential for eventually eliminating it altogether. Grinding can be caused by medical or behavioral problems. Don't be afraid to discuss this with your dentist to see how they are able to help.
How to Stop Grinding
Teeth grinding causes a myriad of health problems that don't always just involve your teeth. Because of this, it is important that you get to the root cause of the problem while helping to alleviate its effects. One of the best ways to stop the effects of grinding is by wearing a mouth guard for teeth grinding. These guards are often made from a thin plastic material that is form fitted to your smile.
They prevent the upper teeth from touching the lower teeth, which can prevent the effects of grinding. In some cases, a person might be unable to get to the root cause of their grinding problems and so the mouth guard for teeth grinding is the best option for them. Plus, a thin mouth guard is comfortable to use and is durable for longtime wear.
Signs that You Grind Your Teeth
Tooth grinding can cause both dental and medical problems, since the pressure of the jaw has an impact on virtually every part of the face and head. Here are some signs to look for if you suspect that you grind your teeth at night:
• A dull, constant headache
• Worn, flat-looking teeth
• Jaw pain
• Shoulder and neck pain
• Increased tooth sensitivity and pain
• Cracks in your teeth or broken cusps (points of the tooth)
In general, if you wake up in the morning with a sore jaw, dull headache and painful teeth, it's probably because you're grinding during the night.
What Happens to Teeth When Grinding
If you continue to grind your teeth, not only will you constantly deal with a headache and sore jaw, but you'll notice that it does a number to your smile. Your teeth can only withstand so much pressure, so it's not uncommon for people who grind their teeth to deal with broken dentition, cracks and deep decay caused by a wear to the enamel. Without treatment and without the use of a night guard, you're taking the risk of destroying your teeth.
Types of Mouth Guards
All mouth guards are made for varying purposes and come in a range of materials and even colors.
• Sports - Having a mouth guard for sports is essential if you'll be playing out in the field. Not only do these guards help to protect the teeth when grinding and clenching, but they protect the mouth by offering extra cushion as well as preventing concussions and damage to the jaw bone. These guards are most often recommended in close contact sports like football and hockey.
• Snoring - Many mouth guards made specific for snoring work by bringing the lower jaw slightly forward. This allows for unrestricted air to flow down into the throat, which prevents and stops snoring before it becomes a problem. These guards are recommended to those who snore loudly at night to the point they are disrupting the peace.
• Sleep Apnea - The same types of mouth guards that are recommended for those who snore are also highly beneficial to individuals with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where the individual temporarily stops breathing at night, causing them to jolt awake. Most often, sleep apnea is caused by being overweight or obese and having restricted air flow into the lungs. A mouth guard can help to open the airway and assist air in both coming in and out of this area.
• Teeth Grinding - If you grind your teeth regularly, a mouth guard made of thin plastic material can help to put a cushion between both the top and bottom teeth. While these guards offer more cushioning than any other varieties, they look like other guards available on the market.
How to Care for the Mouth Guard
Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria that can cause bad breath and even tooth decay. Because your mouth guard will be worn night after night, it's essential that you take care of it to not only prolong its life span but to also have a safe and healthy option for your grinding problems. After removing your mouth guard, rinse it with mouthwash to clear away any bacteria. Some people like to soak their guard in mouthwash throughout the day and then rinse it with cold water before using it at night. Avoid using hot water as this can warp the plastic and disrupt the fit. Keep the guard away from pets and small children, since a lot of dogs like to chew and even eat these small plastic products.
Using a mouth guard for teeth grinding is a great way to put an end to this harmful behavior. Whether you grind your teeth at night due to a medical issue or you just find yourself doing it during extra stressful times, getting the right mouth guard can make all the difference. Your jaw and teeth will thank you for wearing this amazing, lightweight and effective appliance.