John S.K. Hsu D.D.S. and Virginia J. Chin D.D.S., P.C.
General Dentists located in Fairfax, VA
If you grind your teeth at night, a night guard can make a world of difference in your oral health. It can also improve your partner’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. Dr. Hsu and the team at John S.K. Hsu D.D.S. and Virginia J. Chin D.D.S., P.C. help men and women from the greater Fairfax, Virginia area find relief from nighttime teeth grinding with a custom-fitted night guard. If you are ready to get a great night’s sleep and improve your dental health, schedule an appointment online today.
Night Guard Q & A
Why do people grind their teeth at night?
The act of grinding your teeth is known as bruxism. The exact causes are unknown, but researchers believe that both physiological and psychological issues can lead to teeth grinding.
The following conditions are associated with increased rates of bruxism:
- Sleep apnea
- Jaw alignment issues
- Tobacco use
- Certain medications
How do I know if I’m grinding my teeth at night?
Everyone grinds their teeth at some point, but persistent grinding can lead to numerous dental issues. Some people with bruxism grind their teeth during the day, but because they are awake and alert, they usually identify the behavior and stop relatively quickly.
It is not uncommon for people to be unaware that they’re grinding their teeth at night. In some cases, your partner will be overjoyed to inform you that the sound of your teeth grinding is keeping them awake at night.
Symptoms of bruxism include:
- Headache or jaw soreness upon waking
- Swelling near your jaw
- Tight jaw muscles
- Rhythmic jaw muscle contractions
- Excessive wear on certain portions of your teeth
It's essential to take action to address teeth grinding to prevent severe damage to the structural integrity of your teeth. Without treatment, grinding can lead to a need for crowns, bridges, root canals, and even partial or full dentures.
How can a night guard help with teeth grinding?
A custom-fitted night guard protects your teeth from damage due to grinding. It is crafted from a soft plastic and creates a barrier between your upper and lower teeth.
Each night guard is unique and is created from an impression of your bite. The guard fits snugly over your teeth and allows you to breathe normally. They're durable, and many people can use their night guard for up to ten years before they need a new one.
Night guards are an immediate fix for nighttime bruxism, but it is still important to try and determine the cause of your teeth grinding. The best long-term solution is to make the necessary lifestyle modifications to reduce the frequency of teeth grinding.
To learn more, or to be fitted for your custom night guard, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hsu and the team today.