Should You Use a Mouth Guard for Grinding Teeth?

If you suffer from the painful and potentially dangerous condition called Bruxism, which is the grinding of teeth while you sleep,or under stress you may be considering treating the condition with a mouth guard. There are a few treatments for Bruxism, but for many people, a mouth guard can solve the problems that come from grinding teeth. However, before you decide upon this particular treatment, you should know exactly what Bruxism is, and how a mouth guard will treat your condition, as well as the pros and the cons to using a mouth guard for Bruxism.

Mouth Guard For Grinding Teeth

What Causes Bruxism?

You might be surprised to learn that there is no consensus as to what causes Bruxism. Most experts agree that stress is the likely candidate. Daily stress that everyone experiences can cause some sufferers to grind their teeth. However, most people that are looking at a mouth guard as a deterrent for their Bruxism suffer it at night while they are sleeping. Some of the specific factors that may influence Bruxism include whether or not teeth are lined up, your own personal clenching habits, posture, your de-stressing habits and diet, exercise and sleeping habits.

How Important is it to Treat Your Bruxism?

Whether you suffer from regular Bruxism or actually suffer from Sleep Bruxism, not dealing with your condition with a mouth guard or some other treatment can lead to some pretty serious consequences. There are many different levels to Bruxism, and while yours might be a mild case, you will still be doing long term damage if you let it go long enough. Some of the most common effects of Bruxism include headaches, damaged teeth and serious jaw disorders. If you have Sleep Bruxism, you may not even know how serious your condition is.

How a Mouth Guard Can Help?

A mouth guard can be a huge help to someone with Bruxism, especially someone who grinds their teeth at night because they will be protecting their teeth from consuming each other and preventing some of the major damage that comes with having Bruxism, such as biting down and damaging the teeth and causing headaches, and jaw problems. In the market there are different kinds of mouthguard, but for bruxisem they are not useful and sometimes thay can cause more problems than they solve.A mouth guard fits the teeth of the upper jaw and is able to eliminate all of those problems. Mouth guards can be a bit uncomfortable to wear at first, but eventually the person with Bruxism does get used to them and they end up having many benefits.

Here we are listing different types of mouth guard, their pros and cons.

The stock mouth guard – they are available in every sports store and they are the less expensive one. They can be very useful in some kind of risky sports to protect your teeth but their use for Bruxism is discouraged by every dentist on the face of the earth.

Boil and bite mouth guards- they are also easy to find in sport stores and they fit better than the first ones. They are made of thermoplastic material which is placed in hot water and than in the mouth so it takes the shape of the teeth. They also are not recommended by dentists for Bruxism treatment because shaping them in the right way is not as easy as it looks.

Custem-fitted mouth guards or nocturnal bite plate- are designed to fit your mouth perfectly and to make all the changes you need to help you get relief from Bruxism. Your dentist takes impressions of your mouth and plans what mouth guard is suitable for your problem. Since your dentist and his lab is going to work for the custom bite then it’s going to be a little expensive.

How to take care of your bite plate (mouth guard)?

Your mouth guard stays in your mouth fort at least 7 hours in your mouth where it stays in contact with saliva bacteria etc. So is very important you to take care of it or it will cause more damage then it solves
• Clean it every morning with a toothbrush and toothpaste, but you also can use normal soap than rinse it thoroughly.
• Use a adapt container to transport it, so you don’t damage or lose it.
• Check once in a while that it stays intact in time. If it gets perforated, it gets loose or it starts causing discomfort, you should immediately take an appointment with your dentist to repair or replace it.

Other Treatments for Bruxism

A mouth guard is not the only treatment that is effective for Bruxism. One treatment that might be effective is some stress management techniques that prevent you from grinding your teeth in the first place. This may not always work, but it often does. This will generally be more effective in children, because the habitual grinding will not have set in yet. If this does not work, then there may be medications that can help to prevent Bruxism from happening, although mouth guards and splints from the dentist are much more common.



Teeth Grinding Causes

Bruxism is a condition in which a person clenches his teeth (holding tightly lower and upper teeth) or grinds his teeth (sliding teeth back and forth or from side to side). Generally people who clench or grind their teeth are not aware at all, and it is noticed by their partners or family members. It might happen during the day or night, but at night it is thought to cause more damages.

Teeth Grinding Causes

The reasons for teeth clenching or grinding vary widely. The most common causes seem to be:

  • The stress and tension. Every day life has become more stressful nowadays. When a person is under a lot of stress mastication muscles contract causing tightening and clenching of the jaws. The more a person is stressed, the more bruxing or the harder bruxing.
  • Abnormal alignment of teeth or incongruous restorations. This factor is also related to stress or at least enhanced by it. Since teeth are abnormally aligned the jaws don’t close in the right position so they tent to slide until finding the best positions so the mastication muscles can relaxes. But if the misalignment is serious there are chances that the jaw never finds the right position so the muscles stay contracted all day long and after some time starts the TMJ pain.
  • Aggressive personality, frustration and suppressed anger.Many psychologists believe these conditions are the main cause for clenching and grinding teeth during the day.
  • Physiological growth. In children under 6 years old bruxism is a normal condition during development. Bruxisem is a natural response to the changes in the jaws and teeth. But this condition must be temporary, if it persists longer than it becomes a pathological condition and a visit to the dentist is needed.
  • Abnormal posture of the body. Leads to abnormal position of the vertebral colon, so abnormal contraction of the neck muscles. These abnormal contractions of the neck muscles causes imbalance of the jaws and so on teeth clenching or teeth grinding.
  • Sleep disorders. Different studies have shown that persons who suffer from sleep disorders like sleep apnea ,snore loudly, daytime sleepiness have a greater risk of grinding their teeth. Other risk factors might be: sleep talking, sleep paralysis, hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations etc.
  • Lifestyle. Bad habits more than causes of bruxism are risk factors. Some of the them are: regular drinking of alcoholic beverages, smoking tobacco or drinking caffeine (more than six cups a day). Also other bad habits like keeping objects in your mouth like pencils or else could cause teeth clenching and teeth grinding. Another factor would be biting your nails.
  • Drugs and medications. Some studies have shown that certain drug like antidepressants could cause teeth grinding and clenching. These results aren’t proved yet.
  • Complications of other conditions and diseases. Some disease like Parkinson and Huntington can cause teeth grinding during the day or at night. Huntington’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects muscle coordination. Parkinson Disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that affects the person’s motor skills.

There are several symptoms of Bruxism. The most common one are similar with TMJ Symptoms like:

  • Wear teeth down
  • Chipped teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • TMJ Disorder
  • Headache and neck pain

Teeth grinding and clenching can bring a lot of problems to the jaw, teeth or muscles if not treated. As soon as you are feeling some of these symptoms you should go to e dentist to receive the proper treatment and prevent any further problem.

Related Article: Bruxism