The term “Bruxism” is derived from a Greek word “brychein” which means “teeth-gnashing.” Bruxism refers to a sleep-related disorder, which is characterized by involuntary jaw clenching and teeth grinding during sleep.
Although many people grind their teeth while they are awake, bruxism is a bigger health issue. People who suffer from this disorder do not know they are grinding their teeth and hence cannot control the pressure exerted on their jaw. As a result, it can lead to some physical problems.
It also disrupts your sleep quality. The body is supposed to relax during sleep, and teeth grinding causes tension in the muscles which interferes with your ability to get a restful sleep.
To combat this issue, Dr. Shohreh Sabeti at Sabeti Cosmetic Dentistry recommend the use of night mouthguards.
When Do You Need a Night Mouthguard?
A night mouthguard is a hard and rigid plastic device that fits over your teeth. Its goal is to prevent damage to your teeth and stress to your jaw because of bruxism. The following issues may indicate bruxism, and we recommend that you wear a mouthguard in such instances.
Chipped Tooth/ Eroded Enamel
If you experience chipped, worn down, or fractured teeth without any apparent reason, it may be a sign that you suffer from bruxism.
When you grind your jaw, it can put a pressure of 250 pounds on a single tooth. This is a huge difference from when you are chewing, which only places 20 to 40 pounds of pressure on your teeth. As a result, your teeth can become fractured or chipped.
Moreover, the nerve inside your tooth can become irritated as well. This can lead to expensive repair procedures. This is why it is best to talk to us about a night mouthguard before the condition worsens.
Most people fall into the habit of grinding their teeth during stressful times. If this issue becomes chronic, it can lead to you involuntarily clenching your jaw during the night. Although a mouthguard cannot stop you from gnashing your teeth, it can act as a buffer and distribute the force of your jaw evenly in your mouth. This can help minimize the damage to your teeth.
If you often feel like you have a headache or jaw ache when you wake up, it could be because you have been gnashing your teeth all night long. An aching head, jaw, and facial muscles are some of the most common signs of bruxism.
If you experience this, talk to us about getting night mouthguards.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
You may experience pain around your jaw, and particularly in front of the ears, where the temporomandibular joints are located. These joints are responsible for the up and down, back and forth, and sideways motions of the jaw. When you grind your teeth, it can exert immense pressure on these joints.
As a result, you may experience discomfort while chewing, an inability to open or close your mouth properly, and popping, clicking, or grating sounds.
A custom-made night mouthguard can help to keep your muscles relaxed and stabilize your bite, alleviating the pain.
A night mouthguard can also help people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. This is a sleep disorder that occurs when the soft tissue at the back of your throat collapses, closing off your airways. As a result, your breathing stops temporarily, and your body wakes itself up to resume the critical process. This leads to oxygen and sleep deprivation.
Special night mouthguards can hold your tongue in place and push your jaw forward so that your airway remains open. These devices can also stop you from snoring.
Teeth grinding is a common issue, but you do not have to suffer through it. Make an appointment with us by calling us at (213) 314-0636 and talk to Dr. Shohreh Sabeti about night mouthguards and other ways you can cope with bruxism.