Night mouth guards are protective devices that are worn in the mouth and they are used to protect teeth from damage especially amongst individuals who experience a condition known as bruxism.
Bruxism is a condition whereby the individual frequently forcefully grinds or forcefully clenches against his or her upper and lower sets of teeth. Although many times these actions are mild, there are instances where people might have intensive grinding or clenching action. At such times, it is very likely that the individual might suffer some adverse effects such as injuries and damages.
Some of the effects that people with bruxism suffer include worn out teeth which is as a result of attrition from the prolonged grinding action. Apart from wearing out the teeth, individuals may also have breakages in the teeth enamel and cracks in the teeth. People who have had dental operations such as filling may have the fillings coming off. Due to the heavy attrition, the enamel of the teeth may be worn out exposing sensitive parts of the teeth and this may cause hypersensitivity when one takes cold or hot foods and beverages.
Bruxism is also known to cause other injuries to other parts of the mouth including the softer tissues such as the tongue, the cheeks and the lips. The teeth are very hard objects as compared to the soft tissues and the forceful movements may cause scouring, scarring, or indentations in the soft tissues. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can also cause one to suffer from sore jaws and painful teeth gums.
There are instances when people who have had vigorous bruxism action in their sleep wake up to headaches and ear aches. This pains might be mild or severe depending on how hard the action was.
Bruxism is a condition that is widely believed to be caused by psychosocial factors such as stress and anxiety. People who have lifestyles that cause the buildup of stress and anxiety may have manifestations of bruxism. This manifestations might occur in their sleep or it might occur when they are awake. Ladies are more likely to experience bruxism when they are awake while men are more likely to experience bruxism when they are asleep.
When asleep, individuals are more likely to have forceful grinding action while people who have bruxism while awake usually do not have teeth grinding but rather have jaw or teeth clenching. Teeth clenching when one is awake is mostly caused by stimuli that is related to what the individual is doing at the moment. For example an individual engaged in an intense physical or mental exercise may have teeth or jaw clenching.
Recreational drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy are known to trigger bruxism. Lifestyles that include taking alcohol, smoking and taking a lot of caffeine can also contribute to bruxism.
Behavioral therapy is one way of controlling and managing bruxism although the use of bruxism night mouth protective gear is one of the most affordable and most effective ways of managing the condition.