Bruxism is a condition characterized by teeth grinding and clenching. Periodic bruxism shouldn’t be much of a threat, but if it happens frequently, you risk fracturing or loosening your teeth. Worst cases of bruxism can lead to tooth loss or weakened jaws.
Although a lot of people grind their teeth as a result of heavy stress or anxiety, it usually happens at night during sleep when they’re unaware.
The bad news is there’s no cure for bruxism. The good news is a teeth night guard from Teeth Night Guard Lab can help manage the grinding/clenching. Nightguards are an efficient preventive tool used to prevent harm or injury to the teeth and gums when the wearer is asleep.
However, it can be a bit tricky choosing one of the many in-store teeth night guards. Read on to find out how you can select the best teeth night guard for your situation.
1. How Well the Night Guard Fits Your Mouth
You need to choose a teeth night guard that fits well based on the dentition of your teeth. Take a look at your upper and lower set of teeth to see which one is less complicated. If your upper set is crooked, go with a lower night guard for a better fit. If your lower set is missing a tooth or two, go with an upper night guard.
2. The Texture of the Night Guard
You should also decide if you want a mouthguard with a soft or hard texture. Soft night guards can absorb the shock of teeth grinding against each other, but their squishy nature could encourage further grinding. A less chewy night guard is more appropriate for heavy clenchers but can feel a bit bulky on the teeth.
Alternatively, you can go with hybrid night guards made from dual laminate. They are an excellent choice for people looking for a bit of both worlds in terms of comfort and durability.
3. Upper or Lower Teeth Night Guard
You have to consider if you need a night guard for your upper or lower teeth. Both options have their own unique pros and cons.
For instance, an upper mouthguard offers more comfort because it doesn’t come in contact with the tongue. But it can trigger a gag reflex in some people. A lower mouthguard, on the other hand, or jaw, in this case, is more suited to people with obstructive sleep disorders. However, it can feel a bit too much for the mouth before you get used to it.
Note that dentists advise against wearing both lower and upper night guards simultaneously. They present a choking hazard and can cause unnecessary strain on the mouth.
The Bottom Line
As highlighted earlier, not many people with bruxism know that they grind their teeth during their sleep. So, if you regularly wake up with a sore jaw or headache, you might be suffering from bruxism.
To find out if you do, ask someone with whom you share a shelter if they can hear the grinding at night. Better yet, you can visit your dentist so they can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of excessive tooth wear or jaw tenderness.