When you are asleep, you may not realize that you grind your teeth. Nighttime grinding of the teeth is a condition called bruxism. Around 15 percent of the people in the U.S. suffer from bruxism. It can cause debilitating side effects including headaches, jaw soreness, and pain in the teeth.
You cannot stay awake all night to make sure you do not grind your teeth. However, without the use of a dental device called a night guard, you may be unable to prevent bruxism. You can decide if a night guard is right for you by learning what it is and what benefits it can offer to you as someone who suffers from nighttime teeth grinding.
What is a Night Guard?
Night guards are dental devices that fit comfortably over your teeth. They are made from soft materials like gel or rubber. They also may be made from plastic.
Once they are over your teeth, they prevent you from grinding and rubbing your teeth together. They fit snugly so they cannot fall out or cause choking during the night. However, they are also easy to remove and do not require the use of a dental or denture adhesive to hold them in place.
You can find a night guard for sale at most pharmacies and big-box retail stores. They can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription. Once you purchase one and take it home, you should boil it to remove germs that could cause infections in your mouth. You should then allow it to cool before you place it in your mouth and over your teeth.
For some people, the night guard models sold over-the-counter are not sufficient to prevent the worst cases of bruxism. In these instances, people may need to visit their dentists to be fitted for custom-made night guards. The dentist may need to take molds of your teeth so that a tailored night guard can be made just for your mouth.
People should wear their night guard for as long as they suffer from teeth grinding. By wearing yours consistently, you may find relief from the worst of the side effects that come with nighttime bruxism. You may wake up feeling more refreshed and free from the jaw, teeth, and head pain that comes with this condition.
Night guards can prevent you from grinding your teeth as you sleep. You can buy one over-the-counter at the pharmacy or big box store. You can also visit your dentist to have one custom made just for you and your teeth.