Teeth grinding is a condition that needs to be looked into as it can lead to serious dental problems in the future. This condition often occurs during sleep, often caused by stress and anxiety. But it can also happen as a result of crooked or missing teeth, and often for people with sleep apnea. Teeth grinding is known as bruxism, medically, and does not cause harm when the case is mild, but when the gnashing and grinding happens on a regular basis, that has to be treated.
Chronic teeth grinding can result in tooth deterioration, loosening and even loss of teeth. Ignoring the condition may cause the tooth to wear down to the stumps. When that happens, you might have to visit the dentist to place bridges, crowns, dentures (partial and complete), implants, and sometimes even root canal treatment.
The normal treatment for controlling the grinding is placing a mouthguard. Mouthguards work like an occlusal splint that can treat sleep bruxism. The guards cushion the teeth and this will protect the teeth from grinding against each other.
The different types of mouthguards
Check out the varieties of mouthguards so you will have an idea when your dentist explains them to you:
Boil and bite mouthguard
The boil and bite protectors are made from thermoplastic materials and can be bought at any sports goods store. These protectors will have to be placed in hot water to soften up, and then placed in the mouth. You can use pressure to shape the guard according to the contours of your teeth and mouth.
Generally, mouth guards are placed on the upper teeth only. But when you wear braces and have any other dental appliance on your lower jaw, then the dentist would make a mouth guard for the lower jaw as well.
Stock mouth protectors
Stock mouthguards are by far the cheapest in the market, and they are ready to wear protectors. However, they are bulky and may be uncomfortable to the wearer. You can get them at any sports or department store, but dentists do not recommend them, as they do not really solve the problem. Stock mouthguards come in small, medium and large sizes, but they cannot be adjusted much, and hence, they may not provide the desired tight fit.
There are custom-made mouthguards that are made to fit with your teeth and since they come in varying degrees, only your dentist would be able to fit them correctly. They have to fit with your jaw’s size and shape. If you severe bruxism, then it would be better to choose custom-made mouthguards rather than the OTC ones as they are more effective. If you have minor teeth grinding, then OTC should be good.
Still, some people complain about OTC mouthguards being uncomfortable and hard, so when you are getting one of those, make sure they can be boiled and softened.
It is not just for bruxism, mouthguards should be worn by sports people to avoid injuries during games. In such cases, custom-made mouthguards or the boil and bite mouthguards would be just perfect.
Naseem Medical Centre has one of the best dental centres in Wakrah, so if you are suffering from any sort of dental issues, make sure you fix an appointment and visit at the earliest. Healthy teeth and gums will lead to better overall health.
Bruxism is an issue that must be cleared and not ignored. So do not wait, thinking that it will go away. If it is not a dental issue that’s causing the grinding and gnawing, you may have to take some stress relievers or see a physician to see what causes the problem.
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