Our Dental Blog

Guard Yourself From Headaches

May 5, 2022

For most people, the grinding of teeth isn’t a serious medical issue. For some, however, this unconscious activity can lead to serious dental and medical concerns.

Also known by the medical term bruxism, persistent teeth grinding can alter the way the teeth sit in the mouth. You can also wear down the teeth so that they become smaller and misshapen. If this condition is left untreated, it can even require jaw surgery!

Today, your Kansas City, Mo dentist writes on how a night guard may save you a headache in the long run.

a girl showing braces

Should I Be Concerned?

Bruxism is the term for the batting of the jaw together from unconscious movement. It is mostly seen in grinding, gnashing, and the clenching of the jaw. Dentists separate the condition into two different types, awake and sleep bruxism, depending on when the activity takes place. Some people may experience both!

Each of these conditions can lead to serious harm to the smile, both in the teeth and the jaw. People who experience this are also much more likely to have other sleep disorders like apnea and snoring.

The constant strain on the muscles of the neck and head can lead to frequent tension headaches, as well. It’s hard to be your best when you are in pain.

Do I Have Bruxism?

For most people, grinding doesn’t become a serious medical issue. People may be slightly uncomfortable from time to time, but they don’t seek medical attention. Maybe it isn’t severe enough to warrant a visit to a dentist.

For others, though, it can become much more serious. If you start to notice changes in your bite or the shape of your teeth, please see a dentist as soon as possible. It’s always better to attend to things of this nature as quickly as possible to limit damage.

The teeth can flatten, or even crack due to the pressure of the jaw. If that becomes the case, cosmetic repairs are necessary. This can mean crowns or porcelain veneers. But these can only be effective with change, otherwise, they will be worn down as well.

What Are Night Guards?

Boil and bite mouthguards are the most common night guards, which are over the counter products that you can find at the drugstore or grocery store. Made of a thermoplastic, by placing the guard into boiling water, you soften it. Afterward, you bite down firmly onto the mouthguard.

If your dentist determines that a more intensive course of action is necessary, they will most likely suggest a custom mouthguard. Made out of a harder material than other guards, these are formed using a mold that the dentist makes of the mouth. This mold is then sent to a laboratory, where technicians create a new sleek protector that is similar to a retainer.

Get Settled Today!

If you have any further questions, please give Dr. Lucaci at Cosmetic Implant Dentistry Kansas City in Kansas City, MO a call today at (816)427-4018.