People who grind their teeth at night are often unaware of their habit. However, the consequence of the force exerted on both the teeth and the Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ) soon become evident, and can be very destructive. A custom‐made night guard can protect the teeth and relieve pressure on the TMJ.
What is Bruxism?
While you’re reading about dental health here, bruxism is by all means a type of sleep disorder. Bruxism is an oral parafunctional activity which commonly occurs with most people at some point in their lives. The condition is characterized by the grinding of teeth and clenching of the jaw. These actions typically occur during sleeping hours, but can occasionally happen throughout the day, especially when an individual is sitting idle (at work, etc.) for long periods of time.
Chewing is a neuromuscular activity controlled by a subconscious process, but more highly controlled by the brain. During sleep, the subconscious process can become active while the higher control is inactive (asleep), resulting in bruxism.
What Are Symptoms of Bruxism / Teeth Grinding?
The most common symptoms include (but are not exclusive to) the following:
- Eating Disorders
- Tooth wear poor overall dental health
What Are the Treatment Options for Bruxism?
Custom Night Guard
A custom‐made night guard can protect the teeth and relieve pressure on your Tempromandibular Joint. A custom mouth guard is made from acrylic and can be designed from teeth impressions to minimize the abrasive grinding action during normal sleeping hours. Mouth guards are expected to be worn on a long-term basis to help prevent teeth grinding and subsequent tooth damage.
Stock Night Guard
This is an over-the-counter mouth appliance available in a few sizes. This type of mouth guard is typically manufactured from polyurethane, a copolymer of vinyl acetate, or ethylene. It is inexpensive, provides a low level of protection, has little retention, and is often not comfortable. Since retention is poor, the bruxism sufferer must often hold the mouthguard in place by clenching his or her teeth together, which can be disruptive to sleep. It is advised that you consult with Vancouver Dental Speciality Clinic to have a custom night guard made as a long term solution to teeth grinding.
If you have any questions about bruxism and custom made night guards for teeth grinding, contact Vancouver Dental Specialty Clinic at at 604-336-0958.