There’s a lot that goes into our mouths. From the time we are young, we are putting things in our mouths. We put nuts into our mouths to crack them. We put ice in our mouths to chew it. We also put bottles in our mouths to open them, and pop-top cans to force open. Let’s face it, we do some horrible things to our mouths. It’s no wonder our teeth rebel. There are times our teeth are damaged - and we didn’t do anything. Did you know that you can crack, break, or chip teeth while you are sleeping? It’s true.
If you don’t know what we mean, let Queen Anne Family Dental talk to you about night mouthguards that will protect your teeth from themselves.
Why You Might Need A Mouthguard
The main reason you may need a mouthguard at night is to protect your teeth against bruxism. Researchers estimate at least 200,000 people use mouthguards in the United States to protect their teeth. Bruxism is a condition people have where they clench or grind their teeth. If you grind your teeth, you are moving your teeth back and forth at night without knowing it.
However, at some point, and we may begin to notice the symptoms of bruxism over time. One of the first things you might notice is that you are having pain in your teeth or your jaw. Your jaw might ache, especially the muscles in your jaw. You may have trouble opening and closing your jaw as well. Jaw misalignment may be a sign of TMJ. There are times people don’t realize they grind their teeth until they come and visit us with a cracked or broken tooth. We might also notice you have cracked a tooth during one of your dental exams. We will also check for signs of other oral conditions like oral cancer, gum disease, and bone loss.
Why is Bruxism a Problem?
If left without treatment, bruxism can cause trouble with your teeth, as well as your jaws. If you leave your bruxism untreated, your teeth may break or crack. You might also crack your fillings, veneers, dentures, or bridges. Bruxism can cause so much damage to your teeth that you have to have teeth removed. You can also damage orthodontic work as well, such as braces or aligners. Bruxism may cause you to have to wear your orthodontic appliances for longer.
Over time, bruxism may be responsible for changing the look of your teeth. Spaces could be created by clenching and grinding. Your jaw might begin to suffer as well, and your jaw joint could become inflamed.
We can build you a mouthguard to help with bruxism. We can either make a soft plastic mouthguard or a hard-plastic mouthguard. The soft plastic mouthguard helps your mouth distribute the force you use to clench or grind your teeth to all of your teeth and gums. That way, your teeth are protected. If you already have damage to some of your teeth, you may need a hard-plastic mouthguard to protect your teeth from further damage. We offer oral appliances that look similar to night guards for patients with sleep apnea.
Do you have questions about night mouthguards? Give Queen Anne Family Dental a call at (206) 424-4450.