When to Consider a Night Guard

When you think of tooth grinding, you think of it as something a villain does in a melodrama, not something you’d ever do consciously. Or if you did, you’d have to be extremely angry. 

But more times than not, tooth grinding is completely unconscious. And the most common time to do it is at night, while you’re asleep.

Nighttime teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common and destructive habit. About 15% of kids and 8% of adults do it. 

When you grind your teeth during sleep, you can exert about 250 pounds of force on your teeth. That amount of force transfers to your jaw and eventually wears down the chewing surface of your molars, too.

At Arya Dental, our team of expert dentists checks for signs of bruxism during each of your biannual visits to our office in Fullerton, California. 

If you’re among the 30-40 million Americans who engage in bruxism, you could benefit from a night guard. 

What a night guard does

A night guard looks like a sports mouthguard. It’s a two-piece, removable device that creates a barrier between your upper and lower arches. When you try to clench or grind your teeth, the night guard prevents your teeth from touching. It also cushions the muscles in your jaw. 

The cushion helps in two key ways. First, it protects the enamel of your teeth from being ground down. It also prevents jaw pain by alleviating the pressure between teeth.

We fit you for customized night guards with digital scans of your mouth. A custom-fit night guard is more comfortable than a store-bought one and protects your teeth and jaws more effectively.  

Night guards protect your jaws

Night guards don’t stop you from clenching your teeth, but they do cut down on the stress that transfers to those sensitive temporomandibular joints (TMJs). One of the benefits of a night guard is that it minimizes or ends jaw and facial pain.

If you’ve suffered from TMJ disorder and have jaw popping, clicking, or pain, a night guard gives your jaw relief. If you notice that you tend to clench your jaw or grind your teeth during the day, we suggest mitigation strategies depending on what’s triggering the issue. 

Limiting the amount of coffee you drink and stress management techniques, for instance, may help.

Night guards protect your teeth 

You only have one set of permanent teeth. If you grind down the surface of your molars, they won’t be able to chew your food as efficiently, which could translate into digestive issues down the road.

A night guard stops the progression of damage to your teeth. Over time, chronic teeth grinding could lead to chipped, cracked or worn-down teeth, and even to tooth loss.

If you have facial or jaw pain in the morning, or if you’ve been told by your dentist that you grind your teeth, it’s time to contact us for a customized night guard. Call our friendly Arya Dental office staff, or request an appointment online.

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