Nightguards for Bruxism – Pittsburgh, PA
Protect Your Smile from Clenching and Grinding
Bruxism is involuntary teeth grinding and clenching. It often occurs at night, so you cannot simply “train” yourself to stop it. Moreover, if it continues for an extended period of time, it may cause serious damage to the teeth and lead to painful problems with the jaw joint (the TMJ). If you suspect that you suffer from bruxism, your dentist may recommend that you use a custom nightguard to protect your smile. This page discusses what such a nightguard is, how it may benefit you, and how you can tell if you need one.
What Is a Nightguard?
A nightguard is a small oral appliance that resembles a mouthguard worn for sports. However, rather than aiming to protect your mouth from impacts, its primary purpose is to place a barrier between the top and bottom teeth in order to prevent grinding and clenching while you sleep. It thus protects your teeth from premature wear and tear and can relieve pressure on your TMJ.
Benefits of a Custom Nightguard
Many stores sell over the counter nightguards that can provide a degree of protection against bruxism. However, we strongly recommend that patients opt for a custom nightguard instead. Such a custom appliance offers several advantages:
- Increased comfort. Custom nightguards in Pittsburgh are designed to accommodate your unique oral structures.
- Increased compliance. The more comfortable your nightguard is, the more likely you are to wear it.
- Protection against TMJ dysfunction. A well-designed oral appliance often does more than prevent bruxism. It may relieve stress on your jaw joint and reduce headaches, facial soreness, and other symptoms of TMJ dysfunction (TMD). Of course, TMD is a complex problem, and a nightguard isn’t always the final solution — but it could certainly help.
- Professional support. Our team will be here to address any questions or concerns that may arise regarding your bruxism treatment.
Do You Need a Nightguard?
Some signs that you may need a nightguard to cope with bruxism include:
- You often wake up with a sore jaw, sore facial muscles, or a headache
- Your partner has remarked that they hear you grinding your teeth while you sleep
- Your teeth are experiencing increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- You have risk factors for bruxism, such as a sleep disorder or a stressful lifestyle
- You are taking medications that may contribute to bruxism (in particular, a type of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been linked to bruxism)
Do you struggle with bruxism or suspect that you do? Now is the time to contact us and ask how you can get a custom nightguard to protect your smile.