When to Consider an Occlusal Guard: Is Teeth Grinding Affecting Your Health?
Is Teeth Grinding Affecting Your Health?
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common condition that affects many people. While occasional teeth grinding is not typically a cause for concern, chronic grinding can lead to a host of health problems, including tooth damage, headaches, and jaw pain. Fortunately, there are ways to manage teeth grinding and prevent long-term health risks.
One of the most effective treatments is an occlusal guard, a custom-fitted appliance that helps protect teeth from grinding and clenching. In this blog, we'll discuss when to consider an occlusal guard, the potential risks of untreated teeth grinding, and how to get started with an occlusal guard.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
Before we delve into when to consider an occlusal guard, it's important to understand the signs and symptoms of teeth grinding. Common signs include headaches, jaw pain, and tooth sensitivity. Other symptoms may include earaches, difficulty sleeping, and facial pain.
Over time, teeth grinding can also cause tooth damage, including cracked, chipped, or worn down teeth. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to talk to your dentist about treatment options.
Risk Factors for Teeth Grinding
Bruxism can be caused by a number of different risk factors. Here are some of the most common risk factors associated with teeth grinding:
- Stress and anxiety: Stress and anxiety are two of the most common risk factors for teeth grinding. People who experience high levels of stress or anxiety may be more likely to grind their teeth, especially at night.
- Age: Teeth grinding is more common in children than in adults, but it can affect people of all ages. Young children often grind their teeth as a normal part of development, but most outgrow the habit by adolescence. Adults who develop teeth grinding later in life may be more likely to experience more severe symptoms.
- Sleep disorders: Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, snoring, and insomnia can all increase the risk of teeth grinding. People who have difficulty sleeping or who experience sleep disturbances may be more likely to grind their teeth during the night.
- Lifestyle factors: Certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and caffeine intake, can all increase the risk of teeth grinding. These habits can increase anxiety and stress levels, which can lead to bruxism.
- Dental problems: Dental problems such as misaligned teeth, missing teeth, or an abnormal bite can all increase the risk of teeth grinding. When teeth are not properly aligned or when there is an imbalance in the bite, it can cause additional stress and pressure on the teeth, leading to bruxism.
- Genetics: There may be a genetic component to teeth grinding. People who have a family history of bruxism may be more likely to develop the condition themselves.
It's important to note that not everyone who has these risk factors will develop teeth grinding, and some people may develop bruxism without any known risk factors. If you are experiencing symptoms of teeth grinding, it's important to talk to your dentist about your treatment options.
How an Occlusal Guard Can Help
If you experience teeth grinding, your dentist may recommend an occlusal guard. An occlusal guard is a custom-fitted appliance that is worn at night to protect teeth from grinding and clenching. The guard is typically made from a durable plastic material and fits over the upper or lower teeth. It works by creating a barrier between the teeth, which helps reduce the impact of grinding and clenching.
Occlusal guards can provide a host of benefits, including protecting teeth from damage, reducing jaw pain and headaches, and improving sleep quality. Because occlusal guards are custom-fitted to your teeth, they provide a comfortable and secure fit. They're also easy to use - simply insert the guard before bed and remove it in the morning. With proper care, an occlusal guard can last for several years.
When to Consider Getting an Occlusal Guard
So when should you consider getting an occlusal guard? If you experience any of the symptoms of teeth grinding or have been diagnosed with bruxism, it's important to talk to your dentist about treatment options. If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to tooth damage, chronic jaw pain, and other health risks.
Your dentist will likely perform a dental exam and ask about your symptoms and medical history. They may also recommend imaging tests or refer you to a specialist for further evaluation. If an occlusal guard is recommended, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create a custom-fitted guard that fits securely and comfortably over your teeth.
Or you could head over to us a ClearClub and we could get you a custom-fitted guard for less than your dentist. Click the button below if you are interested:
How to Get an Occlusal Guard
If you're considering an occlusal guard, there are a few steps you'll need to take. Your dentist will likely perform a dental exam and discuss your treatment options. If an occlusal guard is recommended, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab to create a custom-fitted guard. The lab will use the impressions to create a mold of your teeth and fabricate the guard from a durable plastic material.
Once the guard is ready, your dentist will have you come in for a fitting appointment. They will make any necessary adjustments to ensure the guard fits comfortably and securely. They'll also provide instructions on how to care for your guard, including how to clean it and when to replace it.
Another much simpler and easy option, with the same or better quality, is to check out ClearClub's custom-fitted guards. We make FDA approved custom guards that are cheaper and easier to get than any guard a dentist would prescribe you. Check out our website today if interested!
It's important to note that over-the-counter guards are available, but they don't provide the same level of protection as custom-fitted guards. Over-the-counter guards are often bulky and uncomfortable, and may not fit securely over your teeth. They also may not be made from high-quality materials, which can result in premature wear and tear.
Teeth grinding is a common condition that can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available, including occlusal guards. If you experience any symptoms of teeth grinding, it's important to talk to your dentist about your treatment options.
They can get you an expensive Occlusal guard or you could go to us at ClearClub and get one of equal quality. Your path to Bruxism prevention or treatment is in your hands.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is an occlusal guard?
An occlusal guard, also known as a night guard or a mouth guard, is a dental appliance that is worn over the teeth to protect them from grinding and clenching. It is typically made of a soft, flexible material that is custom-fitted to your teeth.
How do I know if I need an occlusal guard?
If you experience symptoms such as jaw pain, headaches, or worn-down teeth, you may be grinding or clenching your teeth at night. Talk to your dentist about your symptoms and they can perform a dental exam to determine if an occlusal guard is right for you.