Bruxism, Nightguards & Mouthguards

If you find that you grind your teeth, mouthguards will help reduce the symptoms of Bruxism.

What Is Bruxism?

If you wake up with a sore jaw, a dull headache or tooth pain, you may want to ask a qualified dental professional if you are suffering from a common, though often temporary dental disorder called bruxism. Patients with bruxism may find that they are clenching or grinding their teeth while they sleep. This can have negative and severe effects on your teeth, even if you are doing it for only short periods of time. Patients who grind or clench their teeth can flatten their teeth, losing those divots or grooves that assist in chewing. Wearing down, or grinding our teeth, can be costly to repair. Patients who grind their teeth while they sleep may find that they are experiencing some of the following symptoms:
  • Noise: Patients often report that the noise of grinding wakes them up at times in the night.
  • Visual Changes: You may be able to visually see the flattening wear on your teeth. As the outer layer of the enamel is being removed, you may see the yellow of dentin below, giving your overall teeth a yellow appearance.
  • Pain: Teeth grinding often leads to sensitivity, breakage or cracks which can be painful.
  • Loose: Some patients may actually cause teeth to become loosened from grinding while they sleep.

Clenching Teeth

Patients who clench their teeth may cause fractures and breakage of their teeth. This can be both painful and expensive for the patient. Patients who are clenching their teeth while they sleep may find they are experiencing some of the following symptoms:
  • Soreness: Patients may be waking up with a sore jaw, or soreness in their face, and some patients also report migraines.
  • Tiredness: Your facial muscles may feel tight or tired. You may notice a feeling of a release of pressure in those first moments after waking.
  • Tooth Sensitivity: You may begin to experience tooth sensitivity, this may be due to hairline fractures, or even breakage in your teeth.

Nightguards for Bruxism

A nightguard is a plastic device that we customize to fit comfortably inside your mouth. This will serve as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, protecting them from the effects of bruxism (clenching or grinding) while you sleep. They fit over your teeth so you will not feel like you have a mouthful of plastic. In most situations, your symptoms of bruxism will subside after a brief time, so it only needs to be worn during those times.

People have periods of stress in their normal daily lives. Some people subconsciously respond to these times of stress by grinding or clenching their teeth while they sleep. In most cases, people are not aware they are doing this, but the effects are evident.

There are devices that can help with grinding or bruxism. At The Elmwood Dental Group LLC, we customize a nightguard device to fit comfortably in your mouth while you sleep, protecting your teeth. Bruxism is often a passing phase, but the damage that it can cause can give a patient lifelong frustration, and very expensive results. This can be managed with the creation and wearing of a nightguard. If you have painful jaws or teeth, and think you might be clenching or grinding, give us a call at (860) 331-8748 to schedule your consultative appointment.

What Is a Mouthguard

When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age. While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, wrestling or football, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, you can also experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics, and skating.

There Are Three Types of Mouthguards:

  • Custom-fitted: These are made specifically for you by your dentist. They may be more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized, they offer the best fit.
  • Stock: These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. However, they often don't fit well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.
  • Boil and bite: These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores, and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth.

The mouthguard which is recommended is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. However, if you can't afford a custom-fitted mouthguard, you should still wear a stock mouthguard or a boil-and-bite mouthguard from the drugstore. Give us a call at (860) 331-8748 to learn more about your options.
At The Elmwood Dental Group LLC, our office is both parking and wheel chair accessible.
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1132 New Britain Ave
West Hartford, CT 06110-2421

Located 5 minutes from Blue Back Square & Westfarms Mall

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