Do I Really Need a Night Guard? Sleep Bruxism and Your Teeth
It’s not uncommon for both adults and children to grind their teeth and/or clench their jaws while they sleep. In fact, grinding one’s teeth and clenching one’s jaw while asleep is called sleep bruxism. If you often wake up with jaw pain, tension, or headaches, then it’s likely you have sleep bruxism, and you should talk with a dentist about protecting your teeth with a night guard.
How to Tell If You Have Sleep Bruxism
Since it happens while you’re asleep, many people don’t actually realize that they are grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw at night. However, there are some telltale signs of sleep bruxism that you can detect while you’re awake.
During your regular dental checkup, our dentist could also provide you with a sleep bruxism diagnosis after observing signs of wear and tear that are consistent with those that occur as a result of a patient clenching their jaw and grinding their teeth at night.
Why It's Important to Protect Your Teeth With a Night Guard
Strategies to reduce stress can help mitigate sleep bruxism. However, in many patients, the underlying cause can be genetic or unrelated to stress. So, even if you reduce anxiety, you should still protect your teeth with a night guard.
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep bruxism it’s important that you wear a night guard to mitigate symptoms and protect your teeth. Apart from the painful daytime side effects associated with sleep bruxism, clenching and grinding every night can do serious long-term damage to your teeth. By wearing down your enamel, you’ll be more prone to tooth decay, cavities, and oral infections. So, wearing a night guard will not only help mitigate symptoms of sleep bruxism but will also prolong the life of your natural teeth.
Schedule a Sleep Bruxism Consultation With Our Dentists in Orange, CA
If you experience jaw pain, neck pain, or frequent morning heads, then it’s likely you’re suffering from sleep bruxism. We strongly encourage you to schedule a dental exam at Dr. Christopher J. Fotinos Dr. Randy A. Rosales Cosmetic & General Dentistry. We’ll examine your teeth, talk with you about your symptoms, and help you determine the best type of night guard to protect your teeth from nighttime clenching and grinding.