Using a mouth guard for grinding teeth can help if you have difficulty sleeping or morning headaches due to bruxism, which is a condition that causes a person to grind or clench their teeth.
Mouth Guard for Grinding Teeth
Wearing a mouth guard for grinding teeth is a common way to control this condition, and keep your teeth from damage. The guard is a plastic device you insert into the mouth and wear at night. It keeps your teeth from pressing together, as they rest against a plastic or acrylic piece. Mouth guards can also be helpful when you have sleep apnea for keeping the airway open.
How it Works
- Buy the mouth guard: A dentist can prescribe one for you that is custom fitted, or there are less expensive over-the-counter mouth guards. You can buy them at your local drugstore, a sporting goods store, or online.
- Make sure your mouth guard fits. If you are getting a prescription mouth guard, it will be custom fitted to your mouth by your dentist. If you are buying the mouth guard from the store, follow the directions. This typically involves dropping it into boiling water and then fitting it to your teeth when it's soft.
- Insert the mouth guard before falling asleep. It might take a short time to get used to it, but lots of people wear mouth guards nightly and sleep comfortably through the night.
- Keep clean. When you're not wearing the mouth guard, be sure to keep it in its plastic case. It should also be cleaned every day by brushing it with toothpaste or by using cleaning tablets. You can also soak it in vinegar and warm water.
Mouth Guard Choices
Here are some inexpensive mouth guards that can be bought online:
You might also want to use special cleaning products for your mouth guard:
Complications of Teeth Grinding
While teeth grinding not a serious problem, some health problems can result. The teeth can wear down faster and dental work may be required due to excess wear and tear. You might also cause damage to the fillings or the crowns on your teeth. Headaches are also common, as well as jaw pain. There is also a condition called temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) that can result from grinding teeth at night. All the movements in your face from the grinding might even cause you to age faster as your skin loses its elasticity.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
Many people grind their teeth in the night due to stress. Having problems at work, in relationships, or worries that are excess can bring about teeth grinding. If you have anxiety or tension in your body, you sleep will be affected as your nerves work on overdrive. Often, a partner may even be able to hear your teeth clenching and can alert you to this condition. For these reasons and many more, wearing a mouth guard is a good idea if you are a teeth grinder and want to stay healthy.