Nightguards in Lake Forest, CA
Bruxism, often associated with stress, anxiety, abnormal bites, and missing teeth, remains a condition with elusive causes. While emerging evidence suggests a potential link between bruxism and sleep disorders like sleep apnea, conclusive findings are still underway. In the absence of definitive answers, our best approach is to minimize the damage and side effects associated with bruxism.
Nightguards, typically made from soft plastic or rubber, are designed to fit over your upper teeth (or lower teeth in specific cases) and act as a preventive measure against teeth grinding. The material of the nightguard helps prevent tooth wear and absorbs and disperses the biting forces, thereby reducing jaw pain and headaches caused by clenching tension.
For individuals with mild bruxism, treatment may not be necessary, especially if clenching occurs without grinding and is devoid of associated symptoms like headaches or jaw pain. However, for individuals with more severe bruxism, a custom nightguard crafted by a dentist offers the most effective therapy.
Understanding Nightguards and Their Importance:
A nightguard is a mouthguard worn during sleep to protect against the damage and discomfort caused by teeth grinding or clenching.
Bruxism, the term dentists use to describe teeth clenching and grinding, is an involuntary behavior experienced by both children and adults. As it primarily occurs during sleep, many patients are unaware of their bruxism until they notice symptoms or their dentist identifies signs of damage.
Symptoms of teeth grinding and clenching include:
- Worn, cracked, or broken teeth
- Jaw pain, neck pain, or muscle tenderness in the back
- Facial pain, earaches, and headaches
- Heightened sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet stimuli
- Difficulty sleeping
Over-the-Counter Nightguards vs. Custom Nightguards:
While over-the-counter nightguards are available, we strongly recommend opting for custom nightguards. Here's why: pre-formed and boil-and-bite guards found in drugstores are less durable and comfortable compared to custom nightguards. They are more likely to impede speech, breathing, slip around, or irritate the gums. If a mouthguard is uncomfortable, the likelihood of wearing it decreases, leaving you vulnerable to the potential problems the nightguard is designed to prevent.
Crafted to fit precisely, custom nightguards are made from an exact replica of your mouth achieved through a dental mold. Once your nightguard is fabricated, you will try it on at our office, and if any adjustments are needed for comfort, we can make them accordingly.
It is worth noting that some individuals unknowingly clench their teeth while awake. Once your dentist points out this habit, you might be able to curb it, especially during waking hours, as wearing a day guard might be impractical. Seek methods to consciously relax your facial and jaw muscles. In a relaxed state, your lips should be closed without your teeth touching (back teeth's biting surfaces should not make contact). Setting reminders around your home or workplace, or using your mobile phone, can help you remember to check if you are clenching.
If you suspect that you may be clenching your teeth during sleep, please inform us, and we can evaluate you for signs and symptoms. Even if you are not experiencing discomfort or pain, the dentist or hygienist may identify signs of clenching based on the condition of your mouth. Remember, prevention is always better than cure!
Schedule Your Appointment Today:
For any questions or to book an appointment regarding nightguards in Lake Forest, please do not hesitate to contact our dental office. Our dedicated team is here to address your concerns and help you schedule your visit. Experience the protective benefits of nightguards as we relieve your bruxism symptoms and safeguard your teeth. Call us today at 949-899-6090 to take a step toward a healthier, more comfortable smile.