Most people have some form of nervous physical activity that they have trouble controlling. Some people bounce a knee, but others grind their teeth. Unfortunately, this activity can lead to serious issues with the teeth and the jaw.
Bruxism, the medical term for persistent teeth grinding, can alter the shape of the teeth or even how they sit within the mouth. Today, your Newport Beach, CA dentist writes on how a night guard may be beneficial for your smile.
Do I Have An Issue?
The activity of grinding teeth is what is known as bruxism. This can occur either while the patient is sleeping or wide awake, and some people experience both forms at the same time. The force of the jaw can be immense, and lead to serious damage to the mouth, head, and neck.
Those with bruxism are much more likely to experience other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea (stopping breathing while sleeping) and snoring. Constant tension and strain can lead to muscular issues in the neck. Not to mention those constant headaches!
Do I Need A Dentist?
Most people have no issue at all with their bruxism. Or from time to time, they may take an over the counter pain reliever such as aspirin to handle the mild symptoms they experience. It simply isn’t worth the trouble of seeing a dentist. And that line can sometimes become blurry.
So it’s important to recognize when you need outside assistance in dealing with your condition. If you notice your bite of your teeth changing, it’s always time to have someone help you find out why the change is happening, and if it’s harmful to your health.
Also, if you notice that your teeth are changing shape in any way, have a dentist examine them. Bruxism is a condition that rarely improves without help, so waiting can only lead to more pain. It’s always better to attend to things of this nature as quickly as possible to limit damage.
What Are Night Guards?
Boil and bite mouthguards are the most common night guards, which are over the counter products that you can find at the drugstore or grocery store. Made of a thermoplastic, by placing the guard into boiling water, you soften it. Afterward, you bite down firmly onto the mouthguard.
If your dentist determines that a more intensive course of action is necessary, they will most likely suggest a custom protector. Made out of a harder material than boil and bite guards, these are formed using a mold that the dentist makes of the mouth. This mold is then sent to a laboratory, where technicians create a slim, sleek protector that is similar to a retainer.
Contact us today for more information or with any questions that you have!
If you have any questions about bruxism or mouth guards, please give Dr. Hofkes at Balboa Dental Surgery a call at (949)630-0143. Or stop by our office here in Newport Beach, CA!