Custom nightguards are a recommended treatment for bruxism from the professional dentistry team at Lovett Dental Sugar Land. Bruxism refers to the phenomenon of clenching and grinding the teeth during sleep. Nightguards are also tools used to treat TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder and reduce pain and discomfort associated with it. Lovett Dental Sugar Land has helped countless patients treat bruxism and TMJ with custom nightguards.
Nightguards for bruxism
Nighttime teeth grinding refers to a condition called bruxism. The underlying cause of bruxism is not known. However, teeth grinding can be attributed to physical and psychological issues such as stress, anxiety, and autoimmune diseases.
Some people learn of their teeth grinding from others who sleep nearby. Additional signs of bruxism include:
- Chipped teeth
- Loose teeth
- Worn enamel
- Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold beverages
- An unexplained jaw or tooth pain
- Frequent headaches upon waking
- Ear pain
- Poor sleep
If you suspect bruxism, mention the issue to your dental provider. Your dentist will perform an exam to check for any damage to the teeth related to grinding your teeth.
If diagnosed with bruxism, the dentist can arrange for a custom nightguard for bruxism. The mouthguard is worn at night and will protect the teeth from any grinding. The mouth guard fits over both the upper and lower teeth. Wear the custom nightguard routinely to reduce the symptoms and complications associated with bruxism.
Nightguards for TMJ
Another reason that a dental provider will fit a patient with a custom nightguard is TMJ disorder. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders and refers to a group of conditions that affect jaw movement. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with TMJ. To be considered TMJ, the joint between the jaw and skull must be affected. Similar to bruxism, the cause of TMJ may be challenging to discern. Injury to the jaw or arthritis could cause TMJ. Patients with bruxism could also end up having TMJ in the future.
Common symptoms of TMJ include:
- Jaw pain
- Tender sensation around the jaw area
- Unexplained earache
- Facial pain and sensitivity
- Locking of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
- Discomfort while eating
Dentists recommend mouthguards to those who have been diagnosed with TMJ. The mouth guards will reduce pain and discomfort caused by the TMJ. The night guard will help to position the teeth of the TMJ patient properly. The device will also prevent any teeth grinding, which could be worsening TMJ symptoms. TMJ patients should only rely on nightguards custom fitted to their mouths. Along with nightguards, dental providers may also order oral splints as a treatment for TMJ.
Considerations for nightguards
Nightguards are available over-the-counter, but getting a custom type from a dental provider is always preferred. The problem with prefabricated mouth guards is that the device is not made specifically for your mouth. The nightguard may cause discomfort when worn. Also, the nightguard may make it difficult to breathe at night. A dentist will take an impression of your teeth and evaluate your jaw position to create a custom nightguard. The nightguard is guaranteed to fit correctly and not further exacerbate any jaw or teeth issues. Best of all, custom nightguards last for years and may be used up to 10 years to treat bruxism and TMJ. If any adjustments are needed, you could meet with your dentist to discuss any issues.
Reach Out to Lovett Dental Sugar Land Today
Are you suffering from jaw pain? No need to have long-term pain and discomfort from teeth grinding. Contact the compassionate and knowledgeable team at Lovett Dental Sugar Land by calling 832.990.8729, or contact us online. We provide a full range of dental services, including custom nightguard fitting.