The constant pressure and grinding of the teeth are often related to a condition known as bruxism. It causes an uncomfortable level of pain in some patients, and it is unexpectedly abrasive to the health of our teeth. Nightguards are the preferred therapeutic alternative for bruxism, since they reduce symptoms and are widely available on the market. At Sylvan Heights Dental, we know how difficult it is to live with this condition, so we will inform you about how night guards can help you manage your bruxism.
Symptoms, Causes, and Effects of Bruxism
Bruxism is pretty common in people of all ages, even when a good part of those who suffer from it are not aware of it. Some of its characteristic symptoms include teeth grinding, nocturnal or morning headaches, jaw and facial pain, and fatigue from insomnia.
The real problem of bruxism is not observed if it is occasional, but in the long term. Consistent bruxism can go to extremes such as breaking or losing teeth. It does not have an exact cause, but stress and anxiety are said to be part of the reasons.
Most cases of bruxism improve considerably when using night guards during sleep. They make a barrier between the teeth, so that when pressure is exerted, which can be as strong as the equivalent of 250 pounds, this force is made on the night guard and not on the teeth, serving as a cushion for the jaw. Night guards prevent pain and protect the integrity of your teeth.
Soft Night Guards
There are several types of night guards. Soft night guards, for starters, are the most used on the market and are perfect for mild or occasional cases. Their main benefits are that they are the most comfortable of all of the options, the most adaptable, and the least expensive.
Among its disadvantages, some patients unconsciously damage the material by biting it, they have a limited useful life, and a warranty that is usually less than six months. As a result, they are usually not considered viable in the long term.
Dual Laminate Night Guards
Dual laminate night guards are perfect for moderate cases of bruxism. Their foundation is that they are soft on the inside, but hard on the outside. Among their benefits, they can withstand large amounts of pressure, are long-lasting, and have a greater warranty for that reason. Unfortunately, they tend to be thicker and, therefore, less comfortable, making adaptability a bit more complicated.
Hard Night Guards
Finally, we have hard night guards, which are made of acrylic and have a high rigidity, which gives them a long useful life. They are ideal for severe cases of bruxism. Their main benefits are that they offer the longest warranties and completely prevent tooth grinding. They are thicker than the others and for that reason may be a little more uncomfortable, but once you get used to them, they are totally worth it and will alleviate your symptoms.
At Sylvan Heights Dental, it is important for us that you regain your restful nights. For this reason, we offer you the best advice on bruxism and the ideal treatments for your case, such as night guards. Please schedule your appointment with us by contacting us at (503) 388-5882 today.