Bruxism, or teeth grinding, mostly happens when you’re sleeping and unaware that you’re doing it. Why would you need a mouth guard if you can sleep through the grinding?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 8 percent of adults have bruxism. If you’re one of them, you may also suffer from dental damage, facial pain, exhaustion due to disturbed sleep, and other health conditions over time. Bruxism often becomes a chronic condition that can last a lifetime, if left untreated. If you experience the following symptoms, you should visit your dentist, and ask if you need to start wearing a mouth guard.

You wake up with a headache.

If you’re regularly waking up in the morning with a terrible headache, jaw ache, or ear ache, it is most likely before you grind your teeth for the better part of the night while you sleep. Can you imagine the constant pressure you’re putting on your teeth and jaws when you clench and grind your teeth for hours at a time every night? A mouth guard will not stop the teeth grinding. It works by giving your teeth and jaws some relief from the pressure.

You wake up feeling fatigued.

Do you wake up most mornings feeling exhausted, regardless of how many hours of “sleep” you had the previous night? Your teeth grinding may not actually wake you up numerous times at night, but the physical force you exert with the constant clenching of your jaw and grinding of your teeth lead to disrupted sleep. Your bruxism is depriving of you real rest. Wearing a mouth guard at night can help improve the quality of your sleep.

You have chipped or broken teeth.

You may not even know that you’ve been chipping away at your teeth until you visit your dentist. Chipped or broken teeth is a sign that your nighttime teeth-grinding has become serious and needs to be addressed immediately. Constant grinding of your teeth can and will damage the enamel. If your bruxism is not treated in a timely manner, you will eventually develop cavities. Repairing chipped or broken teeth can be expensive, so wearing a mouth guard at night to prevent this from happening is the best solution.

You have TMJ.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a condition characterized by inflammation of the muscles of the jaw due to chronic jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Diagnosis of TMJ disorder is done with a simple dental examination, and wearing a mouth guard is the usual form of therapy. A mouth guard will help reduce the effects of your grinding and protect your teeth from damage.

Teeth grinding is usually related to stress and anxiety, so performing some relaxation techniques before bed can prevent your nighttime jaw clenching and teeth-grinding. Wearing a mouth guard when you go to sleep will take some getting used to. It’s normal to experience disrupted sleep during the first few nights, as having something bulky between your teeth will be uncomfortable at first. After the transition phase, however, you’ll start feeling more energized and pain-free when you wake up in the morning because you finally had a genuinely restful sleep. For more information, please contact BlueSpa Dentists Melbourne.