Signs You Need a Night Guard for Teeth Grinding

 In Yaletown Dental Blog

There’s some debate as to just how common night time teeth grinding is, but as many as 22 percent of adults and 15 percent of children grind their teeth. Daytime teeth grinding is easier to solve. After all, you know what you’re doing, and with a little mindfulness, you can consciously work on breaking the habit.

Nocturnal bruxism is a little more complex, and the biggest problem is that a lot of nocturnal teeth grinders don’t even realize they have the habit. Meanwhile, it’s wearing away their teeth. A night guard could protect them, but you can’t address a problem you aren’t aware of. Here are a couple of ways to spot the need for a night guard.

You Wake up With a Chipped or Broken Tooth

This is the most drastic way to spot the need for a night guard. In the morning, you wake up with a piece of tooth in your mouth, or you notice a broken tooth when you brush your teeth. You might be mystified since you don’t remember any accident or incident that could have resulted in a damaged tooth. Be sure to ask your dentist if there are signs of bruxism when you go to have your tooth repaired.

You Wake up With an Aching Jaw or a Swollen Face

If you’re clamping your jaws together all night long, it’s hardly surprising that your jaw aches in the morning. If you’re grinding back and forth, you could also hurt your temporomandibular joint, and in this instance, you may find that your face has swollen up too.

You Have Headaches in the Morning

Morning headaches could be caused by teeth grinding. Unfortunately, there are a lot of other things that can cause headaches, but if you’ve exhausted all the other possibilities, it could just be that you’re a nocturnal teeth grinder. Your dentist at Yaletown Dental can confirm or refute this by looking at the condition of your teeth.

Your Sleeping Partner Notices Your Tooth Grinding

Sleeping partners are great for night-time cuddling, but they won’t want to cuddle you if you’re constantly making grinding and gnashing noises. If your partner comments on this, you should have it checked out.  You’ll both benefit from your night guard!

Why You Should See Your Dentist

You only get one set of permanent teeth, and although we can replace teeth beautifully these days, it’s still best to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible. If you have already damaged your teeth badly enough to require restoration, your dentist will repair them, preventing tooth decay and strengthening weakened teeth.

Even if you haven’t sustained severe damage, preventing it involves getting a night guard for tooth grinding. It should be custom-made to fit snugly over your teeth, and you get used to wearing it quite quickly. You’ll still be inclined to bite down on your teeth, but you’re cushioned from the worst damage.

Of course, if you’re one of those smart people who go for regular dental check-ups, your dentist may be the first person to spot your need for a night guard. Wear it to protect your teeth – they’re precious.

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