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Protecting Your Teeth: The Benefits of Night Guards

Night Guards Orem Utah

Teeth grinding, also known as dental bruxism, is a common condition that can cause significant damage to your teeth, jaw, and overall oral health. While it may occur during the day, it’s more challenging to control at night, leading to gradual wear and tear on your teeth. In this blog post, we’ll explore the causes of teeth grinding, its dangers, and how night guards can be a simple yet effective solution to prevent further damage.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding can stem from various factors, with stress and anxiety being among the most common. Stress often causes people to clench their jaw or grind their teeth, especially during sleep when they’re unaware of the habit. While you can consciously stop grinding during the day, controlling it at night is more complex. The stress and tension accumulated throughout the day may carry over into your sleep, affecting your oral health.

Other causes of teeth grinding include:

  • Sleep Disorders: Conditions like sleep apnea can increase the likelihood of teeth grinding.
  • Abnormal Bite: Misalignment of teeth or jaw issues can lead to grinding.
  • Jaw Joint Problems: Conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can contribute to bruxism.

The Dangers of Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding can cause a variety of symptoms and lead to severe dental problems if left unchecked. Common signs of bruxism include:

  • Headaches: Persistent headaches, especially in the morning, may be a sign of teeth grinding.
  • Jaw Soreness: Grinding can cause soreness and discomfort in the jaw.
  • Painful Teeth and Gums: The constant pressure and friction from grinding can lead to tooth and gum pain.
  • Broken Teeth or Dental Work: Severe grinding can cause teeth to crack or break, damaging dental work like crowns or fillings.
  • Worn Teeth: Grinding can wear down teeth over time, making them shorter and less effective at chewing.

The most concerning aspect of teeth grinding is that it often goes undiagnosed until significant damage has occurred. In extreme cases, patients may require extensive restorative dental work, such as crowns on every tooth, which can be costly.

The Night Guard Solution

A night guard is a simple yet effective solution to prevent teeth grinding. It’s a plastic device that fits over your teeth, usually on the upper or lower jaw, and acts as a barrier to prevent grinding and clenching. Night guards allow you to move your mouth and jaw freely, but they prevent teeth from making direct contact, reducing wear and tear.

Night guards come in various types, including:

  • Boil-and-Bite Guards: These are affordable and can be purchased at drugstores. You boil them and then bite into them to create a custom fit. However, they are often less durable and comfortable than professionally made guards.
  • Custom Online Guards: Some companies offer night guards that require you to take an impression of your teeth and send it back for customization. These guards are more customized but may not offer the same level of precision as those made by dental professionals.
  • Professional Dental Guards: These are made by a dental team to fit your mouth precisely. They offer the highest level of comfort and effectiveness, ensuring a stable fit and long-lasting protection against grinding.

Benefits of the Night Guard

At Canyon Gate Dental, we believe in the benefits of using night guards to protect against teeth grinding. Here’s why they are essential:

  • Prevention of Damage: Night guards prevent direct contact between teeth, reducing the risk of wear, breakage, and other damage.
  • Alleviation of Symptoms: They can help relieve symptoms like headaches, jaw soreness, and tooth pain caused by grinding.
  • Cost Savings: By preventing extensive damage, night guards can save you thousands of dollars in restorative dental work in the long run.
  • Improved Sleep: Reducing grinding and clenching can lead to better sleep quality and reduced stress.

Before recommending a night guard, Canyon Gate Dental conducts a thorough examination to determine if teeth grinding is an issue. If you suspect that you might be grinding your teeth, it’s crucial to visit a dental professional for an evaluation. Our team can help you find the right solution to protect your teeth and maintain a healthy smile. By taking preventive measures now, you can avoid extensive dental work and ensure your smile stays bright for years to come.

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