The Most Complete Guide About Mouth Guard For Teeth Grinding
The poor oral care of grinding teeth not only leads to uneven wearing of the teeth, which in turn, may well trigger various bad bite and other orthodontic disorders, but what is more, the intensive destruction of the surface of the teeth is closely associated with development of sensitivity problems.
On top of that, such patients run the greatest risks of their teeth being fractured or even cracked, especially when the grinding is tough. In some severe cases, even recession of the gums and exposure of the teeth roots are observed. What makes this bad dental habit really difficult to control is the fact that individuals generally grind their teeth during their sleep and, thus, these lower jaw movements are totally unintentional.
In addition, many patients just cannot hold themselves from grinding their teeth when experiencing anxiety. That is why their teeth need some special protection. For this purpose, modern dentistry offers a mouth guard as an option for such patients.
What Is the Mouth Guard for Grinding Teeth?
Initially used to protect the teeth of sportsmen engaged in contact sports, guards are now widely employed in dentistry, particularly the orthodontics field, for handling minor bad bite and teeth grinding problems.
Basically, the guard for grinding teeth is just a transparent plastic covering put over the patient’s upper teeth in order to avoid their direct contact with those on his movable lower jaw. However, when the patient wears dental braces or some other dentures, he will need additional protection for his lower teeth.
Unlike the protectors used in contact sports, the guard for grinding teeth is to be put on for sleep only. This is because most people tend to grind their teeth only at night, in their subconscious state.
Why do people grind their teeth when
If you wonder why you grind or clench your teeth while you sleep, well you will be surprised to learn that there are many reasons for this. Of the lot, the most significant reason you grind your teeth is stress and anxiety. A stressed person manifests the stress asleep through too much mastication meaning you grind most nights.
Even people suffering from sleep disorders like sleep apnea have a higher chance of developing the habit. There are others who tend to clench teeth as a side-effect of medications like antipsychotics and antidepressants.
Other possible causes for teeth grinding (bruxism) are alcoholism, too many caffeinated drinks, excessive drinking and using drugs. Even an uneven bite because of one or more lost teeth can cause teeth grinding in some people.
The uneven bite destabilizes the jaw’s occlusion and is stressful to the person. Knowing why do I grind my teeth while sleeping helps in possible elimination, and stopping the condition.
Is clenching teeth a sign of stress?
Yes, it is because grinding teeth is considered a tension tamer for many people. People feel a sense of calm when they clench their teeth, which is why sometimes clenching teeth does signify stress.
Studies also prove that 70% of healthy people suffering from bruxism go through it because of stress. While the most common cause of stress is job troubles, anything worrying a person and their health continuously slowly becomes stressful.
However, it’s possible to reduce stress in most people through regular exercise or personal care health therapy. According to doctors, teeth grinding is part of the body’s natural mechanisms to stress. The shoulders automatically hunch up, the head moves forward and the teeth start clenching when in stress, and the next natural reflex is to start grinding or clenching teeth.
What medications cause teeth grinding?
Sometimes the side effects of some medications like antipsychotic and antidepressant medications can cause teeth grinding. It’s in fact linked to a particular type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), like paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft) and fluoxetine (Prozac).
Even SNRIs, reuptake inhibitors and serotonin-norepinephrine like Pristiq, Cymbalta and Effexor are connected with nighttime bruxism. And as antidepressants are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs, most bruxism cases triggered by medications are caused by antidepressants.
Not only drugs that affect serotonin levels, even drugs that change dopamine levels like L-Dopa are connected to bruxism. Metoclopramide, an acid reflux drug that helps digestion and migraines and the ADHD drug methylphenidate (Ritalin) are also sometimes linked with daytime bruxism.
These drugs all trigger bruxism by changing your brain chemistry. So changing or at least reducing the medications to bring the brain chemistry back into control is one of the effective bruxism treatments.
Is teeth grinding a sign of sleep apnea?
Yes, surprisingly teeth grinding is not only triggered by sleep apnea but is also a symptom of it. Sometimes a person suffering from bruxism have restorations cracking or falling out where a bite splint or mouth guard for sleep apnea doesn’t treat the teeth guard but camouflages a bigger problem.
The problem may be an underlying breathing disorder like chronic snoring or obstructive sleep apnea if the patient frequently gets up gasping for air at night. Research has in fact proven that bruxism is a symptom of sleeping problems like sleep apnea which is why you can’t dismiss the habit or problem of grinding my teeth as a stress-induced problem.
Not only teeth clenching, other health related symptoms of sleep apnea are fatigue, memory loss or problems, constant weight fluctuations, cardiovascular problems and a large neck. So if the patient is suffering mainly from sleep apnea, and not teeth grinding, then wearing a mouth guard for sleeping won’t help improve their health.
Even the best night guards may increase the risks of high blood pressure and heart attacks. While your dentist may not be able to diagnose sleep apnea, they should check for sleep apnea if a patient complains of bruxism.
Why do children grind her teeth in sleep?
While it’s not known why, some children also grind their teeth. It could be because their upper and lower teeth don’t fit comfortably as their teeth grow in phases. Teeth grinding is also a child’s natural reaction to get a feeling of calm, and it is this reaction which slowly grows into a habit. Some children have a habit of grinding their teeth when they are feeling scared or in response to facial pain and ill health like ear pain or illness.
While some children grind their teeth just because they like the feel of gnashing their teeth, hyperactive children have a higher tendency of developing bruxism. Other possible causes for bruxism in children are sleep disorders, mouth breathing at night, bed-wetting, sleep-talking and drooling. Children tend to outgrow most of these problems, and with the triggers missing, they soon stop grinding their teeth too.
However if stress or anxiety is the cause of bruxism in children, it’s important to find out the cause of their stress. The child may be undergoing some trauma, and need someone to talk about it. Stress is not something they will outgrow, but in fact will become worse if the cause for their stress is not addressed.
This means that you should work at relaxing the child before sleeping. Some things you can do are talking to the child, giving the child a warm bath or massaging the jaw so that your child gets a deep and restful sleep.
Teeth grinding in children is not something to worry about as most children still have their baby teeth which will fall off soon. So even if the teeth from night-time grinding ends up flat, the teeth eventually fall off and new healthy adult ones start growing.
Most children tend to stop grinding their teeth as they grow and outgrow any mental or physical childhood problems. It’s only if your child has healthy adult teeth and bruxism that you need to consult your dentist about a mouth guard for teeth grinding.
How do I stop grinding my teeth?
Your dentist will come up with the right plan to reduce nightly mouth grinding symptoms and related teeth damage. The treatment plan generally includes using mouth guard for teeth grinding or customized splints.
These appliances help keep your teeth separated and in the prevention of teeth from nighttime grinding and further teeth damage. Though uncomfortable, wearing a mouth guard for teeth grinding is one of the best ways to stop you from grinding my teeth and in your personal care to help protect your teeth from more damage.
In fact, a mouth guard can minimize the negative effects of bruxism. If needed, your dentist will also give tips for sleeping with a mouth guard so that you don’t get too offended by teeth protectors.
However you cannot expect miracles from the nightguard. You have to wear the nightguard continuously for some time so that the teeth guard protects your teeth and prevent your teeth from nighttime grinding. It also helps to prevent pain from clenching teeth as many people develop jaw pain and discomfort because of bruxism.
If improper teeth alignment is the cause of the problem, then your dentist may recommend wearing braces, crowns or even reshape the teeth’s chewing surface to improve teeth alignment.
If the grinding is due to stress, some doctors suggest taking muscle relaxants to reduce stress and consequent teeth from nighttime clenching. But these muscle relaxants have their share of side effects, which is why it should be taken only with a doctor’s prescription. Relaxation techniques, hypnosis, meditation and psychoanalysis are better options for stress relief.
If sleep apnea is the cause of bruxism, then mandibular advancement devices may help. They are customized appliances that fit over your top and bottom teeth to help bring your bottom jaw or mandible forward and in the process, help manage snoring and can even help in the prevention of sleep apnea.
How is teeth grinding treated?
Teeth grinding is treated based on its cause which may be stress, lifestyle factors, improper teeth alignment or a sleep disorder. Your dentist is the best person to conduct an examination, and reach an appropriate treatment plan for the condition.
The best option, however, is wearing customized mouth guards for teeth grinding that’s also called occlusal splints, night guards, bite plates or bruxism appliances. They are all basically anti teeth grinding & clenching devices which prevent the teeth clenching that can affect our teeth eventually.
Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth customized to fit over your top or bottom teeth. The continuous night time use of the best dental guard helps reduce jaw muscle pain and protect your teeth and temporomandibular joint (TMJ). When you wear a mouth guard for teeth grinding, the teeth guard helps avoid teeth damage as great mouth guard takes the brunt of grinding.
Jaw exercises may also help by relaxing and strengthening your jaw. A physical therapist will recommend specialized exercises which have to be performed twice or thrice a day for your personal care.
Can hypnosis help with teeth grinding?
Hypnosis is considered to be one of the effective bruxism treatments as most people subconsciously grind their teeth, usually while asleep. As hypnosis works with the unconscious mind, it can use the power of suggestions to change whatever had triggered bruxism in the first place.
As more than 70% of bruxism cases are stress-related, and as stress and anxiety can be addressed through hypnosis, hypnosis can help treat bruxism. It, in fact, reaches the root cause of stress and suggests positive coping methods that help your mind cope with stressful situations.
And as many teeth grinders think about or worry about something, hypnosis helps program your mind to look forward to a good night’s sleep with a relaxed jaw. This slowly helps treat bruxism and stop teeth clenching.
As you are in a deeply relaxed state when hypnotized, your unconscious opens up to suggestions and re-patterning. This is how and when it’s possible to interrupt any thought patterns leading to teeth grinding.
The hypnotist then uses suggestive language to encourage new and beneficial thought patterns. Hypnosis, along with customized mouth guards and splints will slowly but surely help stop teeth grinding.
Will I Benefit from a Mouth Guard for Grinding Teeth?
Both adults and children are strongly recommended to wear a guard for grinding teeth at night if they are even in the occasional habit of grinding their teeth. This is essential to protect them against major damage and, thus, the above-mentioned dental problems.
Even patients who wear dental braces, retainers, fixed and removable dentures, veneers, implants, or even have broken or missing teeth, can greatly benefit from wearing the guard for grinding teeth during their sleep as part of their of their oral care.
Still, sometimes, certain previous dental treatment is required, so remember to visit your dentist prior to getting a guard for grinding teeth, especially when you experience any discomfort or painful sensations in your teeth.
How to Choose a Really Good Mouth Guard for Grinding Teeth?
A good guard for grinding teeth should not only feel comfortable, as you put teeth protectors on your teeth, but also be durable, tear resistant and, certainly, easy to clean. Make sure that it does not hinder your speech or breathing pattern and that it is perfectly melded to your teeth.
Wearing improperly designed and sized mouthguards will not be of much help at treating bruxism, and for stopping grinding of teeth. While customized mouthguards are more expensive than sports versions, they are a better and more helpful option for treating bruxism.
Sports mouth guards are designed mainly to just protect the teeth while playing their games. However occlusal guards are strong and durable enough to resist the force of your clenched teeth at night, and thus prevent the wear and tear of your teeth and its enamel.
What Type of Mouth Guard for Grinding Teeth Is the Best for Me?
Nowadays, you can find at least three types of mouth guards available. But you will definitely wonder if they are all good for treating grinding my teeth? Actually, these teeth protection appliances vary greatly in the way they fit onto your teeth. For instance, you can easily find stock mouth protectors in just about any department or sports store at a very attractive price.
But the fact that there is actually no way you can individually adjust them to your teeth makes dental care providers avoid recommending them for patients with grinding habits and especially those who wear dental braces. On top of that, stock mouth protectors are bulky and highly uncomfortable and even sometimes trigger difficulties in talking and breathing.
You can get a much better fit if you purchase the boil-and-bite mouth protectors, fabricated from special thermoplastic material, which adjusts pretty well to your bite pattern. All you need is to place the nightguard into hot water and then put them onto your upper teeth as soon as they get soft and flexible. However, this will not be a good enough option for patients with badly crooked or cracked teeth or for those who wear dental braces.
The preferred alternative guard for grinding teeth for this category of patients, and for those who look for comfort in their personal care and are ready to pay for it, is the custom-fitted mouth protector.
Even though the fabrication of such a guard for grinding teeth is more time-consuming, it will pay off with the perfect fitting and also protection of exactly those teeth and jaw areas that experience the most pressure, since the nightguards are individually made from special ultra-strong dental materials.
There are two custom-fitted mouth guard models available for patients with teeth-grinding habits. These are the nocturnal bite plate and bite splint. The final choice between these two models is to be made by your dentist in strict accordance with your related dental problems and oral care needs.
What does a night guard do for TMJ?
A mouth guard for TMJ helps TMJ in many ways. Teeth grinding can damage the teeth and supporting bones and muscles to cause pain in jaw joints. So the best night guard for clenching helps control the distribution of these forces while providing oral care pain relief. It also plays an important part to protect the wearing out of the tooth enamel because of teeth grinding.
Regular use of customized mouth guards also helps the patient break the habit by increasing the person’s awareness of the problem. The occlusal guard also evenly distributes grinding teeth forces to reduce the stress on any loose teeth. The mouth guard for teeth grinding also places the teeth at rest, and thus gives time for the bone to heal.
Sometimes the bite has to be adjusted for normal teeth functioning, which is accomplished with the regular use of the mouth guard. Depending on the severity of the condition the patient may have to wear night guards for several weeks to months. They may have to wear the occlusal guard 24 hours a day except while eating and cleaning, or in some cases, only at night for oral care pain relief.
How much is a mouth guard for teeth grinding?
If you wonder where to get a mouth guard for teeth grinding and how much a teeth guard costs, the rate depends on where, and the types of mouth guards you buy for your oral care. You can buy them from dentists, online stores and even sports stores, where each has their own share of personal care pros and cons.
The cost of night guard from dentist is typically between $300-$500 for a personalized one. They take a mold of your teeth and send it to a dental lab where technicians make a teeth grinding custom fit night guard to perfectly fit your teeth. It’s important that night guards fit your teeth perfectly as it’s only then that the teeth guard can protect your teeth too.
As a mouth guard from your dentist comes with a perfect fit, it’s considered the best night guard. So even though these customized mouth guards are not designed, like sports guards, they do offer maximum benefits and give good results in treating bruxism.
You can also buy customized mouth guards online costing $100-$200, and which can last anywhere between 6 months to 5 years. However, you are not sure that the customized mouth guard for teeth grinding will fit your teeth.
This is because you receive a kit that YOU have to use to make an impression. The kit comes with its instructions which you have to follow to make your mold, and then send the mold back to the company’s dental lab to make the mouthguard.
So if your impression that you get isn’t perfect, the customized mouth guards for teeth may not turn out perfect too! The lab technicians have only the mold to work on to make your nightguard, so if it’s faulty, your mouthguard obviously comes out faulty.
Sports mouth guards are the cheapest options available as they cost less than $20. However, if you wonder can you use a sports mouth guard for teeth grinding, then the answer to the question is NO.
They are not the right night mouth guard as they are not molded as per your teeth. Besides, they are usually large and uncomfortable to wear and will not be that useful to help stop grinding my teeth.
Some even make breathing difficult which leads to insomnia and sleep problems if used as a mouth guard for sleeping. They are meant only for protecting your teeth while playing dangerous contact sports, and not for treating bruxism.
Can grinding your teeth cause loose teeth?
Yes, teeth grinding can indeed loosen teeth and is often the main culprit for your damaged and loose teeth if you have healthy gums that are disease free. This is because teeth clenching wears the teeth out much more than normal biting forces.
Besides, the constant jaw movement rocks your teeth front and back. Prolonged and continuous rocking of the teeth stretches periodontal ligaments and loosens teeth in the process.
The amount of damage inflicted on the teeth depends on the amount of grinding that takes place. The harder you clench your teeth, and the longer you do it every night, the looser your teeth become.
This is why it is important that you stop teeth grinding if it’s the cause for your loose teeth. This “harmful” addiction of grinding your teeth can eventually lead to your teeth dropping off as most loosened teeth eventually fall off.
A mouth guard for teeth grinding is most effective at reducing teeth grinding, especially if used along with some muscle relaxants and mild pain medications for the pain in your teeth.
Once teeth grinding is reduced, your dentist will suggest wearing splints for securing the teeth so that the ligaments have time to heal. Sometimes counseling or similar psychological treatment will be necessary to help deal with oral care pain relief and any stress that is making you grind your teeth.
How do dentists fix ground teeth?
Teeth grinding leads to dental health problems like jaw pain, flat, broken, sensitive or chipped teeth, headaches, tight jaw muscles, earaches, headaches, worn tooth enamel and facial pain. Based on the extremities of the case, your dentist will fix ground teeth using different methods.
Most of the time a mouth guard for teeth grinding is enough to protect your teeth and in the prevention of further teeth grinding and also to protect your teeth enamel and jaw. Sometimes reducing stress also helps as stress is a major trigger for clenching of your jaw.
However, if a bite problem is a reason for the ground teeth, then your dentist will have to use orthodontic treatment to move the teeth back to the right place. Once the source of orthodontics teeth grinding is addressed and treated, your dentist will resort to cosmetic treatments for treating ground teeth and your oral care.
Porcelain dental crowns are best for repairing broken, chipped and cracked teeth to give uniform and even teeth. They are in fact the most durable solution to ground teeth. Porcelain veneers help create a natural look of teeth by correcting the length, size and color of your teeth and give an amazing smile. Dental or cosmetic bonding is used for repairing teeth that’s chipped and jagged with grinding to give you the perfect smile with minimal invasiveness.
While porcelain veneers and crowns, and bonding are strong and durable, they will not be able to withstand the pressure of teeth grinding every night. This is why the teeth grinding habit has to be first stopped before treating it where continuously wearing a night guard is the best treatment choice. Wearing a night guard while sleeping will make sure you don’t grind your teeth while you’re asleep and end up only damaging your teeth.
How Should I Take Care of My Mouth Guard for Grinding Teeth?
First of all, remember to clean your teeth protection appliance using toothpaste and toothbrush after each use, just as you do with your teeth during your regular oral hygiene routine. Then, rinse it with cold tap water or non-acidic mouthwash. Avoid high temperatures (hot surfaces, water, or direct sunlight) to avoid distorting the shape of your guard for grinding teeth: this applies to all types of mouth protectors with the exception of the boil-to-bite type.
Some models may require additional anti-germ protection, needing occasional soap and water cleaning. Place your guard for grinding teeth into its original packaging, which provides perfect ventilation, in order to ensure its cleanness, especially when travelling.
Be sure to carefully examine your teeth guard prior to each use. Stop using it whenever you notice any tear or holes and purchase a new one. In addition, let your dentist examine your mouth protection appliance during your routine dental check-ups.
Finally, remember that only a carefully chosen, well-fitting, damage-free, and clean nightguard will help you to avoid the possible complications outlined above, associated with the poor dental habit of grinding teeth.
How do you clean a mouth guard?
Regular care and cleaning of the mouth guard for teeth grinding help prolong its life so that the best dental guard serves you for a longer time. So make it a point to clean customized mouth guards with a toothbrush and toothpaste every morning after use. You can also clean the dental guard using soap and water, along with other cleaning options.
However it is better if you do not use any cleaner containing alcohol to clean the teeth protector as the alcohol reduces the mouth guard’s life. You can instead use a denture cleaning tablet for a deep clean of the night guard once a week. You just have to drop the tablet into a glass of water, and place your mouthguard in it.
Soaking the mouth guard in mouth rinse for anywhere between ten minutes to overnight is helpful for killing any germs in the mouthguard. It also gives the mouth guard a great taste. However, you do have to choose your rinse wisely as some of the rinses may contain chemicals what may stain night guards.
And if travelling, make sure the mouth guard for teeth grinding is completely dry before placing in its container. In fact, the storage case should be cleaned with soap and water, and dried before use.
A dirty and wet case will contaminate the mouth guard and lead to an oral infection or illness. And always store the nightguard in cold tap water when not in use as it helps fight against bacterial growth.
How can you stop sleep apnea?
While it’s not possible to completely stop sleep apnea, losing weight helps reduce its symptoms. The obese have extra tissue in the back of their throat which falls on the airway to block air flow into lungs while sleeping. Reducing alcohol consumption, limiting the use of sleeping pills or sedatives and quitting smoking not only improves your health but also help treat sleep apnea.
CPAP involves wearing a pressurized mask on the nose while sleeping does give relief from sleep apnea, but most find it cumbersome and so don’t stick to it. Oral appliances like mandibular advancement splints worn while sleeping creates a continuous open airway. It moves the lower jaw forward and increases the space behind the tongue to help in the prevention of snoring while sleeping.
While surgery also helps, it has its side effects, which is why it’s used as a last resort to treat sleep apnea. The surgery enlarges the airway through the nose or throat. It is the only option for treating sleep apnea if you can’t tolerate CPAP or oral appliances, and find it difficult to lose weight.
Can I use a mouth guard for braces top and bottom?
After investing so much for your braces for your oral care, it’s normal that you want to wear it for as long as possible. While normal use will not do much harm to your braces, people active in sports and who are involved in risky and dangerous jobs or hobbies have a higher potential of getting injured and damaging their braces. So a mouth guard for teeth grinding works more like a comfort night guard for your braces in these situations.
Before using a night guard for braces, it’s better to ask your coach or instructor which type of a mouth guard you should wear. You have a boil-and-bite type and a customized mouthguard as your options.
However of the two, the dental guard made by your dentist may be a better option. This is because some sports players insurance provides injury coverage only if the mouth guard for teeth grinding is an orthodontic nightguard made by a dentist.
Orthodontic mouth guard for teeth grinding offers the best protection as they are made of high-grade silicone. The lower mouth guard for teeth grinding also has large rubber flanges that reach under the lips. The benefit of this design for your personal care is that it helps prevent them ending up pushed into brackets.
Can bruxism go away?
You can’t exactly say that bruxism treatments can or will stop bruxism as there is no complete cure for it. However, the right management and treatment techniques help manage and slowly reduce its occurrence.
Regular use of customized mouth guard for teeth grinding which make clenching teeth difficult, and reducing any stress you have through meditation, stress-management, counseling or hypnotherapy helps.
In addition to this, regular jaw exercises also help as it strengthens the jaw. A strong jaw helps reduce the symptoms of bruxism and thus helps at treating and the prevention of unnecessary dental work. In other words, with some effort to reduce your stress or any other trigger for bruxism, and wearing a dental protector every night for some time will go a long way at stopping bruxism.