If you feel stressed at work – visit a night guard dentist. While that may sound like a strange combination, it could save your teeth and prevent headaches. Many people don’t realize that when they have stress, the chance of clenching or grinding teeth at night only increases. In times of particularly high stress, people will often wake up with a bad headache or severe face, neck or jaw pain. If this sounds like you – it’s time to visit the dentist.
We will start by examining your teeth to see if there are any signs of teeth grinding. There typically are, since teeth will become chipped or worn down as the enamel starts to come off. In extreme cases, it will be possible to both see and visually identify that the teeth have been ground down and damaged. Minor cases of teeth grinding may only be noticeable to us; during your examination. If we believe that you are grinding or clenching at night, we will recommend wearing a night guard.
As a night guard dentist, we can prevent teeth grinding and the headaches that come with it by providing you with a removable oral appliance to wear. The process is non-invasive and fairly simplistic. We will begin by making an impression of your teeth so that a custom night guard can be created. It will be made out of soft plastic and surround both your upper and lower teeth similar to how a full retainer would. The main difference is that a night guard is designed to prevent your teeth from touching. This is accomplished by designing the guard in such a way as to hold the teeth in place. By simply wearing the guard at night, your teeth grinding will stop and so will the resulting discomfort.
The benefits of a night guard are instantaneous, and many people report feeling better the next morning after wearing it for the first time. Since it is such a small device, it is entirely portable so you can travel with it or slip it in after the lights go out. There are no bulky chords or machinery to worry about, simply a retainer-like device that you slip into your mouth. We recommend that our patients wear it on a regular basis if their symptoms are severe. Those that have intense jaw pain, for example, should use the guard every night and will typically notice a difference if they stop for even one day.
If, however, you are experiencing the headaches or jaw pain during stressful times only, you may need to wear the guard during particular seasons of life, rather than every night. If this is the case, you should be able to tell when to wear it based on how you feel upon waking up. At the first sign of a headache or discomfort, you should pull out the night guard and use it again. As a night guard dentist, we will ensure that it fits perfectly so that regardless of whether you wear it nightly or occasionally, you will feel comfortable and be able to sleep without disruption while simultaneously protecting your teeth.