Nightguards, also known as Oral Splints are dental appliances that allow the ligaments and muscles around the jaw to relax, which helps to relieve some of the tension that can be caused by grinding and clenching. They also work to protect your teeth from wearing down as a result of grinding and clenching.
⦁ Cause of teeth grinding
Teeth grinding (bruxism) is typically classified as a sleep disorder because it primarily occurs while you are asleep. Most people are completely unaware that they have bruxism because they are not conscious while they are doing it and are only made aware when a dentist brings it to their attention or when they experience pain or tightness in the morning. There may be multiple factors that are contributing to your nighttime grinding, and the cause can sometimes be hard to determine. Teeth grinding is most commonly related to stress and anxiety. The more stressed you are, the more grinding you do while sleeping. Other causes of grinding can be:
⦁ Poor alignment of your upper and lower teeth
⦁ Sleep disorders – such as sleep apnea
⦁ Poor lifestyle habits – alcohol consumption, smoking, drug use, etc
Signs that you are grinding or clenching at night are:
⦁ Grinding sounds while you are sleeping at night (A partner/family member most commonly identifies this)
⦁ Vague tooth or jaw pain which randomly comes and goes away
⦁ Chips/cracks in teeth/filling/crowns
⦁ Excessive wearing of teeth
⦁ Sensitive teeth
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