Is there a mouth guard for teeth grinding? How does it help? Learn more about teeth grinding and the ways to address it in this article.
What is Teeth Grinding?
Bruxism is a condition in which a person is grinding his or her teeth. If it occurs during the night, it is called sleep bruxism, but the subconscious bruxism during the day is referred to as awake bruxism.
Bruxism is rooted from teeth clenching and grinding habit which may be triggered by stress and anxiety. This is known as secondary bruxism because it is a result of another condition. However, there is grinding of teeth in which does not connect in any medical issue. This kind is called primary bruxism.
Continual grinding of teeth is dangerous. It may cause your teeth permanent damage plus it can trigger other symptoms like headaches, jaw pain, and earaches.
Most bruxism issue is related to stress and anxiety, but there are other cases in which result in teeth grinding such as the following:
- Medication – Sometimes, the grinding of teeth is a result of taking drugs for medication. Commonly the drugs such as psychotropic drugs, antipsychotics drugs, and antidepressant drugs are what causes it.
- Jaw Problems – If the top and bottom teeth do not fit properly, chances are it will result in bruxism. This condition is called occlusal discrepancy. Once the jaw problem is corrected, you will stop from grinding your teeth.
- Lifestyle Choices – High consumption of alcoholic beverage, too much tobacco smoking, and taking drugs for recreation activity. If these activities are included in your lifestyle, you are prone to having bruxism.
Treatment for Bruxism
There are multiple techniques to treat bruxism, but firstly, it is important to understand that the goal of the treatment involves reducing any pain caused by it, inhibiting any damage it will cause your teeth, and decreasing the grinding and clenching which included the noise you make at night. The following are the method:
Stress and anxiety may be the underlying issue behind your teeth grinding. If this is the case, there are psychological treatments available to help you. One example of psychological treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Nevertheless, there are non-psychologist methods to help you if bruxism is a stress-related issue. This includes yoga, meditation, deep breathing, having a bath, reading, listening to music, and massage. In other words, it is important to relax oneself. Other relaxation methods such as talk therapy, breathing, and exercising may also help aid with anxiety and stress.
But if the issue of teeth grinding is not stress-related, there are still various self-treatment that you may try. It includes relieving the pain through applying some ice on the jaw muscles as well as relaxing the facial muscles and avoiding hard food.
Breaking the Habit
Learning to break the habit of clenching and grinding the teeth may be the key to treat bruxism. Learn to relax your jaws by positioning it in a relaxed manner. Try to hold it as long as you can until you break the bad clenching habit; and if this work on awake bruxism, chances are it may also work on sleep bruxism.
Mouth guards help with the bruxism condition by adjusting the pressure in the jaw as well as by building a barrier which serves as protection between the upper and lower teeth. Additionally, the grinding noise during your sleep will be reduced.
Usually, a mouth guard for teeth grinding is recommended by dentists. It is like the mouth braces wear in boxing or basketball and can be made with either rubber or plastic. But it is also available at your local pharmacy but the size may not fit the same as the custom-made.
The goal of the mouth guards is to protect your teeth from any damage. It may also hold your jaw in a painless and relaxed position. But if mouth guards don’t work, you may have braces or undergo surgery to align your teeth. However, braces and surgery do not usually solve the problem related to bruxism.
Types of Mouth Guards Based on Use
Mouth guards have different forms which differences are based on its use. Meaning to say, there are different kinds of mouth guards that are used in different cases. There are mouth guards made for athletes, for people with the condition of sleep apnea, for people who snore too much, and for patients who grind their teeth.
- Mouth Guard for Sports – Certain sports have the need to use mouth guards as a protection against injury that the sport may cause. The sports that usually have the need for it are basketball, boxing, football, soccer, cycling, ice hockey, gymnastics, softball, and many more.
- Mouth Guard for Sleep Apnea – Sleep apnea is a risky sleeping condition as it can temporarily stop a person breathing while he or she is asleep. By using mouth guards, situations like the brain not receiving much air or your chances of having a heart condition may be prevented
- Mouth Guard for Snoring – There are mouth guards that are designed to reduce snoring.
- Mouth Guard for Teeth Grinding – This type of mouth guards are specially designed for conditions like bruxism. It can be bought in the pharmacy or you can ask your dentist for a custom-made product.
Complications of Untreated Bruxism
Most of the time severe toothache is the result of untreated bruxism. Aside from that, you may develop eating disorders. Additionally, your mouth area may experience more pain as your jaw and teeth turn to be more delicate. Over time, these mouth experiences may lead to psychological diseases such as depression and insomnia.
Continual and untreated grinding of teeth has additional complications. These are jaw pain, headaches, ear pain, fracture teeth, abnormal wear on teeth, inflamed or receding gums, and tooth mobility.
You may follow the suggested solutions listed above for treating your teeth grinding condition. However, a dental check-up may still be the best for you. For instance, they may recommend the treatment suitable for your condition by simply identify the root of the cause. Furthermore, once your condition is treated, having a regular check-up with your dentist may be vital because they can identify if your bruxism has been back without you noticing it.