Night Guards & Athletic Mouth Guards in Orlando, FL
When you experience stress, it's likely that you clench or grind your teeth. A grinding and clenching habit is common and happens to all of us from time to time. But if your teeth grinding is causing headaches upon waking or pain in your jaw and neck, you may suffer from a condition called bruxism.
If you have a sore jaw, grind and clench your teeth, or experience sleep bruxism, a night guard or dental guard may be a solution for protecting your teeth and reducing stress on your jaw joints.
What Exactly Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition characterized by unconsciously clenching and grinding your teeth. The two types of bruxism are awake bruxism and sleep bruxism. Sleep bruxism is a sleep-related movement disorder, and people with sleep bruxism are more likely to have other sleep disorders, like sleep apnea or snoring. Sleep apnea is when your breathing pauses during sleep and can have numerous adverse effects on one's health. Teeth grinding and clenching can occur for many reasons, and your dentist can help determine why you may have bruxism and provide comfortable and personalized treatment for the condition.
Reasons for Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can result from muscle tension or a problem with how your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) functions. Your TMJ is the joint that allows your upper and lower jaw to come together. For some, a misaligned dental bite can lead to teeth grinding. When your bite isn't aligned properly, one side of your mouth absorbs more stress than the other. The body naturally tries to relieve the discomfort by evening out the pressure.
The result is teeth grinding that creates a constant, unnatural force on the jaw joint, which can lead to head and neck pain. Bruxism can also lead to sore jaw muscles, facial pain, and worn chewing surfaces. Many people with sleep apnea may also have bruxism, as these two conditions often go hand-in-hand. If you have bruxism or sleep apnea, your dentist can screen you for these conditions and determine the best treatment for your needs.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism
Our teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but sometimes they can wear down or break, especially if you grind or clench your teeth. Some people may not have noticeable symptoms of teeth grinding or clenching. However, common signs and symptoms of bruxism are:
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Worn dental enamel, exposing deeper tooth layers
- Increased tooth sensitivity or pain
- Tight or tired jaw muscles
- Difficulty opening or closing the jaw completely
- Jaw, face, or neck pain or soreness
- Pain that feels like an earache
- Dull headache in the temples
- Damage from chewing on the inside of the cheek
- Sleep disruption
People with sleep bruxism may not realize they have the condition until complications develop, so it's important to know bruxism's signs and symptoms and visit your dentist for routine checkups. During regular exams, your dentist can monitor your oral health and bruxism habit to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy and pain-free. Regular appointments can also help us determine if there are any changes in your symptoms or if you need preventive care or treatment for worn or fractured teeth.
A Comfortable Solution for Teeth Grinding
Are these annoying and painful symptoms disrupting your life? If so, we urge you to contact our Orlando dental office. Dr. Michaelson will examine your jaw and inspect the wear patterns on your teeth to determine the root of the problem. He may suggest a personalized night guard to alleviate your symptoms and prevent further damage.
Unlike store-bought boil and bite night guards, our custom-made night guards are made using precise impressions of your teeth, so it fits perfectly. The night guard's purpose is to prevent the upper and lower jaw from coming into contact with each other while you sleep. The night guard minimizes the risk of clenching or grinding, eliminating chronic discomfort and allowing your jaw to relax and return to its normal movement. We also advise a night guard after completing cosmetic dental treatment to protect your beautiful new crowns or veneers from wear or damage.
Our custom night guards are comfortable and made from the highest quality materials. With a night guard from our dental office, you can experience relief from the pain and stress associated with bruxism.
Mouth Guards Offer Protection from Sports Injuries
If you or a family member participate in athletic activities, you already understand the potential for injuries, especially to the gums and teeth. It is estimated that nearly 40 percent of all sports injuries involve the mouth and can result in damaged teeth, gums, tongue, lips, jaw, and more. At Alafaya Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we want you to be able to enjoy your favorite activities, so we offer customized athletic mouth guards for your protection.
You may wonder why a customized device is any better than a generic guard purchased over the counter. Two crucial differences exist between our custom-made guards and those purchased at a sporting goods store, also known as "boil and bite" guards. First, our guards are made using dental impressions, so they protect all surfaces of your teeth. Second, the material used to create our mouth guards is sturdier and better able to absorb excess force than a generic guard.
Contact Our Orlando Office for Custom Dental Guards
If you're dealing with the annoying symptoms of teeth grinding or want more information about our customized sports guards, please call our Orlando dental office. We'll work with you to find the solution that fits your needs perfectly.