Marco Island night guards

Night Guards

Do you wake up feeling refreshed and aware each morning? Or do you enter each day with a headache, a sore jaw, and worn teeth? If you’re dealing with chronic nighttime teeth grinding, you probably fall into the latter camp. And the results of your grinding have daily and long-term negative impacts. Fight bruxism by exploring night guards with Dr. Siegel.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

Bruxism is chronic jaw clenching / teeth grinding, and it affects countless adults. It’s damaging to not only your teeth, but to your mood and your daily comfort level. It’s difficult to spot bruxism because you only grind your teeth while sleeping or concentrating, and you do so subconsciously. Since you usually can’t catch yourself in the act, it’s key that you check in with a dentist if you’re noticing a combination of these symptoms (especially in the morning):

  • Tooth pain
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Tender or tired jaws
  • Facial pain
  • Poor quality of sleep

Some of these signs overlap with sleep apnea symptoms – Dr. Siegel will help you distinguish between the two.

Consequences of Long-Term Bruxism

  • Receding gums – The friction of your teeth grinding against one another pulls them away from the gums. The gum tissue loses its grip on teeth and recedes. This exposes yellow tooth roots and causes sensitivity at the gum line. Your teeth may also feel loose, especially if you’ve ever had periodontal disease.
  • Worn or cracked teeth – Teeth can handle quite a bit of pressure, but they’re not able to withstand years of grinding. The enamel on your upper and lower teeth wears away, leading to flat patches on the bite surface and a smaller smile.
  • Broken dental work – Bonding, veneers, and crowns have shorter lifespans when the patient grinds their teeth. Restorations are more likely to crack and cause a dental emergency.
  • TMJ – TMJ/TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, can result from chronic grinding. During this condition, your jaw muscles and joints do not work properly and may experience physical damage. You’ll notice jaw pain, exhaustion, and potential dysfunction.
  • Tooth loss – Severe, prolonged grinding can compromise tooth structure to the point of necessary extraction.

Night Guards Protect Teeth and Jaws

Give your enamel a break – get a custom night guard to control clenching and grinding. Night guards fit over your teeth and accomplish a few different goals, depending on the guard type. Some simply cover your upper or lower teeth to prevent enamel from meeting enamel. Others restrict your lower jaw movement so that you’re unable to clench. Depending on your jaw and your habits, Dr. Siegel will recommend the appropriate device.

Once you’re accustomed to wearing your mouth guard, it will become a regular part of your nightly routine. You’ll sleep better, experience fewer headaches, and see a longer-lasting smile. If you’ve been grinding your nights away, get in touch for assistance.

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