Have you considered wearing a night guard?
The dentists at Dentistry at 1818 Market Street recommend wearing a nightguard for several reasons.
What is a Nightguard?
A nightguard is a retainer-like plastic piece that can be hard or soft. It can be worn on either the bottom or top set of teeth. You and your dentist will determine which is better for you based on your teeth and mouth. Since patients have different teeth patterns, a night guard is custom-made for each patient by molding it to fit your teeth without the risk of being uncomfortable or unnecessarily bulky. It has many names; therefore, when you hear dentists talk about a nightguard, mouthguard, occlusal guard, bite splint, dental guard, or nocturnal bite plate, they refer to the same thing.
Here Are Four Main Reasons You Should Wear a Nightguard:
Prevent Teeth Damage
Teeth grinding happens most often while you are sleeping, and you are not in control or able to stop yourself. The more it happens, the more you subject your teeth to loss of enamel. Enamel erosion causes over-sensitivity. As a result, your mouth may be sensitive to hot or cold beverages and food. Additionally, without enamel protecting your teeth, your teeth become more susceptible to decay. When the decay continues into the hard enamel of the teeth, you are likely to develop infections.
Teeth grinding also causes damage by fracturing a weak tooth and wearing out any fillings. The surface of the teeth can handle the pressure associated with chewing and biting, but the additional pressure from clenching and grinding is not sustainable. As a result, the tooth fractures or cracks. Besides suffering the excruciating pain that comes with tooth fracture, you will have to make trips to the dentists for treatment. Sometimes the dentist can do a filling but you may end up needing more costly treatment like crowns, root canals or tooth loss. Tooth loss can be fixed through bridges or implants.
Prevents Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw and the skull and affects the muscles you use to chew. As you clench your teeth in your sleep, you apply pressure into the TMJ, which can cause misalignment. When misaligned, you develop TMJ dysfunction. The disorder causes difficulty in chewing, pain around and in your ear, and even headaches. You may also damage the articular disk which is irreparable and can cause disk displacement. This can lead to your jaw unexpectedly locking open or closed which may lead to a trip to the ER. Wearing a nightguard prevents the disorder’s development because it eases any tension you can cause on the muscles.
Prevent Chronic Headaches
Chronic neck aches and headaches are usually the first symptoms of possible bruxism since TMJ dysfunction manifests itself through migraines. The tensed muscles in the neck, shoulders, mouth, and jaw cause headaches. However, before you rush to diagnose yourself as suffering from bruxism, you can check that the headaches are indeed being caused by teeth grinding and clenching. One way is to look at the surface of the teeth; if instead of being pointed, they have flattened, most likely, you grind your teeth in your sleep. Another way is to look for a recession of gum and bone which can happen because of clenching. A custom-made nightguard eliminates headaches because you no longer clench and tense up the muscles.
A one-size-fits-all nightguard costs $20 but Dentistry at 1818 Market Street does not recommend an over-the-counter mouthguard because it will be uncomfortable. A dental nightguard custom-made for you will be more expensive than purchasing an OTC nightguard, but it will be worth the investment. When you compare the cost of a nightguard with the cost of restorative dentistry, the former is cheaper. Once your teeth wear out and get fractures, restorative dentistry will be the only way to fix your dental problems, which can be costly.
If you are thinking about getting a night guard, visit Dentistry at 1818 Market Street we would be happy to help you get the perfect fit, so you can wear it comfortably and feel better. If you are worried about cost or price of a dental night guard, come in to our center city philadelphia dental office for a consultation. We offer financing and payment plans and work with many insurance companies. We know how important regular and preventative dental care is, so we also have an in-house dental plan which includes cleanings, and also offers discounts on things like night guards, as well as many other dental procedures we do in our philadelphia dentist office. Contact us today for more information and to schedule an appointment.