Teeth Clenching
Grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep is pretty common among adults and children. But when it begins to cause jaw or tooth pain, headaches, or damage to your teeth, it is the time to visit your dentist. Juan M. Carrillo, DMD, is a general and cosmetic dentist in Richmond, Virginia, offering effective night guards: an affordable, non-invasive way to protect your teeth from bruxism and relieve temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ). For a custom-fitted night guard in Richmond, call or book an appointment online today.

What is a night guard?

This is a device that you wear between your teeth while asleep, similar to the athletic mouthguard. Nightguards are generally used to protect your teeth from grinding or clenching, medically referred to as bruxism. They are made of rubber or plastic, fit over your top teeth, and are specifically molded to fit your mouth.

Why would you require a night guard?

The main reason why most people use night guards is bruxism. There are several reasons why you are grinding or clenching your teeth. Mostly, it happens when you are stressed or asleep. You don't realize you are grinding your teeth often because it occurs when you are asleep, and you have to be told by a loved one who can hear it. The grinding can damage your teeth enamel and can put an untenable strain on them. This can cause cavities, tooth decay, and damage to your teeth, including the oral tissues.

What are the benefits of a night guard?

Having a night guard will help you in lots of ways. Some of the benefits of a night guard include sleeping better, avoiding the dull ache that can occur in your jaw, avoiding annoying headaches when you wake up, and protecting your teeth as well as any crowns, dentures, or other restorations. Night guards can also help to relieve headaches and soreness caused by chronic TMJ strain.

How do you get a night guard?

For the best remedy, you should get a night guard that is explicitly custom-fitted to your mouth. Dr. Carrillo will help you get a custom fit that will be comfortable for you to breathe and speak. During your visit, he will make a personalized mold so that your night guard supports your teeth, maintains a healthy alignment, and won’t slip or shift in your mouth during sleep.

How should you care for your mouthguard?

Doctors recommend you put the mouthguard in just before you go to sleep. You can remove it immediately after you wake up. Your night guard should start to feel comfortable after wearing it for four to six weeks. You should clean your mouth guard before and after every use. Cleanse it with cold, clean water or brush it with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You should not wash it with hot water or leave it in a hot area to avoid expanding and getting loose. If it starts feeling loose and uncomfortable, it's time to consider replacing it.

To sum up, if you are experiencing bruxism or are concerned that your teeth are getting damaged by constant grinding, night guards provide the best solution. For comprehensive dental care in and around Richmond, Virginia, call or make an appointment online with Dr. Carrillo today.