While most people who think of mouthguards are usually imaging the kind worn while participating in sports, there is another type of mouthguard which can be just as important to protecting the patients’ teeth. They are worn while the patient sleeps and are designed to stop the patient from grinding their teeth at night. While wearing one, a barrier is formed between the teeth so do not get worn down. It can also stop tension in the jaw, pain in the jaw and gums, headaches, and protects the teeth from wearing.
If you have pain in your jaw or gums and have been trying to figure out how to stop grinding your teeth at night, come in to see us so we can discuss the available options with you.
This is the medical term for grinding teeth or clenching the jaw. The symptoms of bruxism include soreness along with the jaw and temporomandibular joint pain, severe headaches, and difficulty sleeping. Surprisingly, migraines have been linked to bruxism too as have neck and back pain along with chronic earaches.
When patients grind their teeth, the upper and lower jaws move back and forth while the jaw is clenched. This substantially wears down the patient’s enamel and can cause permanent damage. When the tooth’s enamel is worn severely enough, the patient can develop what is known as hypersensitivity which occurs when eating hot or cold food and beverages. Without the protective layer of enamel, the more sensitive areas of the tooth are exposed. Other tooth injuries which can occur from grinding teeth are fractures and cracks.
Crown placements can combat the loss of tooth enamel and alleviate some of the symptoms including oversensitivity to cold and hot beverages and foods. If the symptoms are severe enough, it may be necessary to perform root canals.
Types of Mouthguards
All mouthguards provide some form of protection at varying prices. There are different types of mouthguards to choose from. The least expensive and most widely used mouthguards are the stock ones that claim that one size fits all. These rarely fit snugly in the mouth and cause irritation to the soft tissues of the mouth. The second type is known as a boil and bite type of mouthguard. The best type of mouthguard is a custom-made mouthguard. These are manufactured to the measures of the patient’s mouth so it will fit comfortably.
Whether you are suffering from aching teeth or jaw or have severe headaches, why not come in today for an evaluation to see if a night mouthguard might help. We are also available by phone 206-791-2020. Call us today to get answers or to schedule an appointment.