Grinding Your Teeth in Your Sleep? A Night Guard May Be For You

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At night, when a person stops breathing, the body naturally attempts to reopen the airway by clenching or grinding the teeth. This action is a reflex mechanism to bring the lower jaw forward and open a closed airway with a grinding motion of the jaw from side to side. By creating airway space, the body triggers individuals to unconsciously clench, gnash, or grind their teeth while sleeping. Sleep bruxism is often associated with sleep disorders, such as pauses in breathing (sleep apnea) and snoring. It is essential to know the symptoms and signs of bruxism and seek regular dental care in Chester Springs, MA. Here is more on signs of bruxism and how a custom-made night mouth guard may be the solution you need.

What are jaw clenching symptoms?

At Byers Station Dental, our doctors check for signs of bruxism during routine dental exams. The act of grinding or clenching the teeth is a common dental concern that affects people of all ages. Certain factors, such as anxiety, a misaligned bite occlusion, stress, or sleep apnea, may cause patients to grind their teeth at night while sleeping. The most recognizable sign of bruxism is tooth enamel erosion; however, there are other indicators, such as:

  • Localized tooth pain or jaw pain
  • Frequent headaches
  • Tension in the jaw or neck area
  • Signs of gum recession

Can a custom-made night mouth guard help?

Nocturnal bruxism occurs when the airway becomes constricted, and muscles in the mouth mimic chewing to allow the airway to reopen. It also triggers the body to produce more saliva, helping to lubricate the back of the throat during labored breathing. Sleep-related bruxism has shown to be a way for the body to protect itself from the effects of sleep apnea. To protect your oral health from the impact of teeth clenching or grinding while you sleep, our dental experts at Byers Station Dental recommend a custom mouth guard appliance. We can provide a custom-made night mouth guard that fits comfortably in your mouth while you sleep. It will help reduce bruxism symptoms, such as jaw clenching and teeth grinding, to protect your dental health. You may even find that you sleep better, too.

What are my next steps to get a mouth guard to stop grinding teeth?

To determine if this oral appliance is what you need, contact our dental practice in Chester Springs, PA and schedule a consultation. During a thorough dental exam, our dentists will check for signs of bruxism and determine the right treatment plan, including occlusal adjustments and other suggestions to help minimize any discomfort associated with jaw clenching symptoms. If a custom-made night mouth guard is needed, digital impressions will be taken of your mouth and sent to a dental laboratory. When it is ready, you'll return to our dental practice for a fitting appointment. Our dentists will make minor adjustments, if needed, to ensure it fits properly. Care instructions will be provided so your dental appliance provides long-lasting protection.

Do you need a grinding mouth guard to protect your oral health?

A custom-made night mouth guard is an oral appliance that has proven highly effective at keeping the upper and lower jaw in good alignment and protect against teeth grinding at night. It can also preserve your jawbone structure and tooth enamel from further damage that results from the friction of grinding or clenching. If you are concerned about sleep apnea, signs of bruxism, or looking for a custom-made night mouth guard to stop clenching or grinding your teeth, contact our dental practice in Chester Springs, PA. We can assist you in scheduling a consultation with one of our dentists and get you started with teeth grinding treatment.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.