Do I really have to wear a night guard?

wearing night guards

You may not be the first to notice, but you could be grinding your teeth at night. This condition, known as bruxism, involves the grinding of teeth, often at night, while you sleep. While it may seem like a harmless condition, a person can clench or grind their teeth so much to the point where the integrity of teeth is destroyed.

Night Guards to the Rescue

A night guard, also known as a bruxism splint or occlusal splint, is a dental appliance recommended by most dentists to counter the effects of bruxism which may include teeth sensitivity as well as head, neck or shoulder pain. Many patients cringe at the thought of getting one, especially when there certainly is nothing “sexy” about wearing a dental appliance at night. However, night guards can help protect your teeth more than you can imagine.

Importance of Night Guards

Bruxism is not just a condition of its own, but it is also the cause of various tooth problems. Grinding the teeth provides great force between your upper and lower teeth. This causes teeth to flatten or wear sooner rather than later. When left untreated, teeth grinding can cause teeth to become sensitive to temperature and prone to cracks. Moreover, it can lead to tooth pain, as the wear eventually moves closer to the nerves. This can result in increased sensitivity, periodontal (gum) issues and an overall decrease in the life expectancy of your teeth. Furthermore, other symptoms which may result from bruxism include ear aches, headaches or migraines and muscle pains in the back, neck, and shoulders which are a result of the muscles of the jaw working tirelessly to “wear and grind” upper and lower teeth against one another.

Know Your Alternatives

The Bruxism Association has already confirmed that there really is no “cure” for the condition. While there are several differing treatments and procedures that can alleviate symptoms, night guards provide a valuable resource since this care is conservative (no drilling required) and cost effective while providing protection for natural and restored teeth. A valuable online resource for more information can be found here.

Night guards in Katy, TX

Want to learn more on how you can prevent tooth destruction due to bruxism? Call us today at 281-395-2112 to book an appointment with our dental experts here at Welch Dental Group. We’d love to hear from you!