If you wake up regularly with jaw pain or tension headaches that last throughout the day, it’s possible that it’s time to schedule a dentist visit. These symptoms are very common for people who grind their teeth at night, and if someone who grinds their teeth at night does not receive the necessary treatment, it can lead to serious dental problems, such as dental fractures and worn down molars.
Teeth grinding is a very common problem that affects many people, although many who are victims of the habit are not even aware that they do it. This is because the grinding typically occurs while the sufferer is asleep, and therefore they have no way of knowing that this is the cause of their jaw pain and headaches when they wake up in the morning.
If you suspect that you are grinding your teeth, visit a dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will look for common signs of teeth grinding, and suggest that you wear a mouth guard over your teeth at night. A mouth guard is a protective cover that goes over your teeth, protecting them from the aggressive tooth-on-tooth contact that can lead to more serious dental problems down the line.
There are two different types of mouth guards: fitted mouth guards, custom made by your dentist, and over the counter mouth guards, which can be purchased at any drug store. So, which type of mouth guard is best for you?
An over the counter mouth guard is typically called a “boil and bite” mouth guard. It is made from plastic, and must be boiled to temporarily soften the material. Once the product is soft, the wearer will bite down onto it so that the plastic reforms around the wearer’s teeth. These are typically inexpensive, but they do come with some problems. For instance, the plastic is not incredibly durable, so it is easy to bite through it accidentally while trying to get it fitted to your teeth. Also, over time, the wearer may grind through them, as they are not built to last for a long time.
Another issue with “boil and bite” mouth guards is that wearers typically find them to be uncomfortable. The hardened plastic can irritate the inside of your mouth, and if it is not fitted just right when it is soft, it can actually be painful to wear.
Lastly, these “boil and bite” mouth guards are not perfectly fitted to one’s teeth, and therefore they will not be tight when worn. This means they can slip around easily when worn during sleep, making them essentially ineffective. They can also be dangerous, as they can be so loose that they can become a choking hazard.
If you want a mouth guard that will last and be effective, your best bet is to ask your dentist to make you one which is custom made. Your dentist will use advanced technology to make a perfect impression of your teeth so that the mouth guard will fit over your teeth tightly and precisely. Your dentist will also choose a material which suits your needs best, depending on the severity of your grinding.
A custom made mouth guard will be durable enough to last forever, and will be fitted enough that you will not have to worry about accidentally choking on it in the middle of the night. Despite the fact that dentist made mouth guards are more expensive than one which you can buy at the drug store, keep in mind that it will last you several times as long, feel completely comfortable and fully protect your teeth against the damages of long-term grinding.