What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding, Teeth grinding can occur for most people at night, when they don’t realize it is happening. It can be caused by a number of problems including TMJ, TMD or too tight jaw muscles. Sometimes it is just a bad habit you develop and it carries on into your sleep. Whatever the reason, it is extremely important to have it evaluated as soon as possible.
Bruxism can make all sorts of oral health problems. Most notably, it can grind down teeth making them wear out, and cause breakage, chipping, tooth loss or cavities and infections. It can however, also cause headaches, neck stiffness, even painful headaches or migraines, jaw clenching, or your jaw getting stuck in one position.
How can a Nightguard help my Bruxism?
Most cases of Bruxism in adults occur when they are sleeping. It is unintentional, and leads to many problems. Nightguards are available in two general forms – the over the counter kind from the drug-store, or Dr. Barney can make for you in his office. The professionally made kind is specially designed after your own mouth using your biting impression to have them made. After taking your impression and measurements, Dr. Barney will order your Nightguard from a laboratory who will personalize it for you.
Wearing a Nightguard will completely stop teeth grinding for some people, particularly those who do it at night while sleeping, and not out of habit. For many people, it cures migraines, eliminates vision problems, and of course tooth pain and degeneration.
Most of the time though Nightguard will not completely eliminate Bruxism, but will stop the teeth from being damaged, or the vibrating motion that causes headaches.
Many people will try the over-the-counter Nightguards before trying a professionally made one to save money, but this can be a big mistake. Using a store bought nightguard for serious cases of Bruxism has actually been shown to do more harm than good to oral health. Most of the time, they do not fit properly. Improper fitting nightguards can do nothing to treat your Bruxism, but it can make you feel very uncomfortable and agitated during the night. It can also prevent you from getting a proper sleep if it hurts, or if it is always popping out.
Having a professional Nightguard on the other hand, is a great way to protect your teeth from Bruxism. It perfectly fits your own mouth and will prevent any damage to your teeth during the night when your teeth grind.
Q: How do I know if I am grinding my teeth at night?
A: It is usually very obvious when you are. When you experience Bruxism in your sleep, you often wake up with headaches, neck stiffness and sometimes pain in your teeth or jaw. Making an appointment with Dr. Barney to discuss these symptoms will help you rule out whether you are dealing with teeth grinding.
Q: Can I use an OTC brand of nightguard while waiting for my own to arrive?
A: While you can, there are risks involved in using a store bought nightguard, as outlined above. If you feel you need something right away, Dr. Barney will help you with a temporary solution during the few days it takes for your nightguard to arrive.
Schedule a consultation
If you are interested in learning more about night guards for bruxism, and would like to see if you are a good candidate, call (304) 754-8803 to schedule a consultation at our office in Hedgesville, WV.