While night guards are a very effective treatment for bruxism, or teeth grinding, most people don't find them terribly attractive. Therefore, if your Chico, CA dentist, Ashley Harrison, DDS, has mentioned that you might need one, you may find yourself wondering if a night guard is really necessary. After all, if your teeth grinding isn't bothering you, do you really need to treat it?
The fact is, many people who have bruxism don't even know that they have it. The grinding happens at night while the individual is sleeping, and they have no recollection of the grinding in the morning. Even if you aren't aware that you grind your teeth, you're at risk for complications. Here are four signs you might need a night guard.
1. Your Teeth are Cracked, Chipped or Worn
2. Your Jaw is Painful or Sore
Nighttime teeth grinding doesn't just put a lot of pressure on your teeth, it overworks your muscles as well. If your jaw is frequently sore or painful, especially in the morning, your night time teeth grinding workouts may be to blame.
3. You Have Frequent Headaches
Whether your headaches are completely debilitating or only mildly annoying, chances are that you'd like to get rid of them once and for all. If your headaches cannot be traced to a different cause, teeth grinding may be to blame, especially if you have other symptoms of bruxism as well.
4. Your Bite Feels "Off"
As your teeth grinding gradually chips and wears away at your teeth, your teeth may not fit together as well as they once did. The result is a bite that feels "off," and that can cause a fair amount of pain, discomfort or fatigue.
Without treatment, teeth grinding can lead to damaged teeth, headaches, expensive dental procedures and even tooth loss. Therefore, if Dr. Harrison says you need to wear a night guard, you need to listen! If you think you may suffer from bruxism and you'd like to know for sure, call your Chico, CA dentist to set up a consultation today.