Many people are afflicted with bruxism, or teeth grinding. Some people may do this consciously during the day, but it is a larger problem at night while you are asleep. Grinding your teeth can damage enamel, wear down teeth, cause jaw pain, or irritate your gums. The noise from teeth grinding can also disturb your spouse's sleep if loud enough.
If you grind your teeth you should consider a night guard. The night guard, which is very similar to a mouth guard worn by athletes, provides a barrier between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep. All night guards are custom fitted for comfort and to allow for proper breathing. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and have the night guard created by a dental lab. Night guards are very durable and can be used for up to 10 years.
There are also some things that you can do to try to stop teeth grinding. You can train your jaw to be free and easy rather than clenched. Refrain from chewing gum or on other objects like pens. You should also avoid alcoholic drinks and drinks with caffeine, as these can increase the likelihood you will grind your teeth.
Protective Mouth Guards
Mouth guards are an essential piece of equipment in contact sports. They should be worn by athletes of all ages who participate in any sport where contact is a possibility including:
Wearing a mouth guard helps protect against structural damage to your teeth and jaw in the event of an impact to the mouth and also helps prevent injuries such as lacerations to your cheeks, tongue, and lips. Mouth guards have also been shown to help decrease the risk of concussions.
Mouth guards are available in most any sporting goods store, but you should be careful when purchasing a mouth guard. Mouth guards like this do not offer the best level of protection and are often ill-fitting and uncomfortable.
For the highest level of comfort and protection, we recommend coming to the office for a custom mouth guard fitting. A custom mouth guard is created specifically for the optimal protection of YOUR mouth. It is created with thin plastic that is hardened to protect your teeth. The thinness of the custom mouth guard allows for easy breathing and also allows for easy communication (especially important for you star quarterbacks calling out the signals).