How Night Guards Can Work Their Magic to Help You with Your Bruxism

Do you wake up each morning with pain in your jaw area? Does your partner complain about you making a noise when you're sleeping? These are signs that you may be developing a nasty habit called "bruxism." Over time, it will generate unusual patterns of wear in your teeth, because you are quite literally grinding them away. You may have heard of night guards and how they can help to alleviate the major symptoms. How can they help you with this annoying problem?

Why Do You Do This?

Experts don't really understand what causes bruxism, but they do know that it can be a long-term issue and quite challenging to remedy. Most of the time you may not exhibit any symptoms, but will begin to clench and grind your teeth when you're asleep. It's quite likely that stress in your everyday life can be contributing to the issue, but some people believe it could be linked to diet, as well. One thing is certain, that if you don't do anything about it you will cause quite a lot of damage to your teeth and will need a number of visits to a restorative dentist.

How a Guard Can Help

To help deal with the problem, think about trying an occlusal guard. It can help to deal with the pain caused when you overwork the TMJ joint that is found in your jaw. The guard itself is specially made to reduce the unconscious force that you're applying, rather than simply preventing the teeth coming into contact with each other.

Constantly Adjusting Pressure

Dentists call the pressure that is exerted when you grind your teeth "proprioception." In everyday life, this helps to constantly adjust the pressure that's applied to the jaw muscles, to take into account anything that comes in between the opposing teeth. The nerves in this area will transmit a message to the brain to do this, so that you only apply the correct amount of force when you're chewing your food, for example. In other words, you will automatically apply extra pressure when you're trying to deal with a nut, as opposed to something like mushy peas.

The Sacrificial Guard

The problem arises at night when you begin grinding your teeth and there's basically nothing in between them. When this happens, the brain is not able to regulate the amount of pressure applied and this is when damage can be caused, not only to your teeth, but also to your jaw muscles.

The guard, therefore, steps in to provide this protection and will ensure that your brain controls the force being applied, while you are sleeping.

Asking the Dentist

Have a word with your dentist to see what type of occlusal guard they recommend and to see if you need to get one fitted to help with your problem.

For more information, contact companies like The Happy Tooth Kurri Kurri​.