A bruxism appliance for stopping the grinding is a mouth guard, but not all mouth guards are created equal as there are several different kinds. Also, the kind of treatment recommended for teeth grinding can depend on the level of bruxism, and advanced cases might need specialized treatment from a dentist, however most cases can be treated through use of a mouth guard which is either custom made or readymade. It is best to go to your dentist to be properly diagnosed, and to then make an informed decision about the best course of action to remedy this habit, based on the level of symptoms being exhibited.
Symptoms of bruxism
Some bruxers are unaware that they grind their teeth until the symptoms become quite obvious and painful. These include noticing that teeth have become worn and chipped, or that they are sensitive to hot and cold food and drink. Bruxism can also affect the muscles of the face so that sufferers frequently wake up with a painful jaw or headaches. Other bruxers are blissfully unaware that they were grinding their teeth until informed of the fact by a disgruntled bed fellow.
Custom made bruxism appliances
If you choose to go to your dentist for a bruxism appliance, it is quite likely that they will make you a custom made mouth guard which fits over either the upper or lower teeth. It might be tapered towards the back teeth in order to hold the mouth open in the correct position. This will ensure that the teeth are protected during teeth grinding. If you have dental insurance it’s worth checking with your provider to see if you are covered for the cost of a custom-made mouth guard.
An NTI-tss appliance (NTI-tension suppression system) is quite different from an ordinary mouth guard in that it only fits over the front teeth. It works by forcing the muscles in the jaw to relax as it triggers a nerve reflex, while preventing the back teeth from touching. This device can be extremely effective for bruxism sufferers who have additional symptoms such as tension headaches, with many people reporting that their headaches reduce significantly or even disappear.
Ready-made bruxism appliances
Ready-made bruxism appliances are easily bought in drugstores or online, and provide an affordable alternative to custom made devices. There are lots of different kinds to choose from so look for one that is made of a flexible and durable material that won’t easily crack or tear. You will need to spend some time adapting ready-made mouth guards to fit your teeth.
The better you get your mouth guard to fit the more effective it will be, as well as being a lot more comfortable to wear. The most easily adapted mouth guards are heated in hot water to make them more flexible so that you can quickly adapt them round your natural teeth before the material hardens into its new position. You might need to trim excess material from these mouth guards in order to make them comfortable enough to be worn overnight.