Bruxism – the official term for teeth grinding or clenching – can be highly damaging to teeth over time. And many people who grind their teeth may eventually consider veneers in order cover that damage and get their teeth looking bright and shiny again.
The good news is veneers do an excellent job of covering the aesthetic damage that teeth grinding can cause to teeth. The less good news is that teeth grinding can also damage veneers, but there are ways that you can protect them …
The Impact of Bruxism on Veneers
A study through the University of Valencia found that porcelain veneers were three times as likely to fracture in patients who ground their teeth than they were for patients who did not. Teeth grinding also led to a much greater rate of veneer debonding. Given how much damage teeth grinding can cause in general, this is not surprising. Teeth grinding has been shown to wear down teeth, cause chips or cracks in teeth, create tooth and jaw pain, damage the inner ear through inflammation and irritation (which can contribute to hearing loss,) and bring on headaches, neck pain, and TMJ.
In many cases, the enamel lost through teeth grinding is the main reason patients seek out veneers in the first place. So, if that’s you, you want to make sure that the veneers that are covering that tooth damage will not suffer the same fate.
You Can Protect Your Teeth and Veneers from Damage at Night
If you grind your teeth at night, you’ll be glad to know that there is an easy solution to help you protect your teeth (and your veneers). A night guard – also referred to as a bruxism guard, mouth guard, occlusal guard, bite splint, and teeth splint – is a device you can wear over your teeth that will keep them from scraping against and bashing into each other if you clench or move your jaw.
Night guards are made from plastic that ranges from soft and flexible to very hard with little flexibility depending on you needs and comfort choices. If you are a particularly aggressive teeth grinder and want a night guard that lasts a long time, you will need to choose a harder plastic. However, it is often better to start with something a little softer and more flexible when you first start wearing a night guard.
Where Can You Get a Night Guard?
Before there were custom-made night guards, there were generic options offered at local drug stores. And you can still find many of these available to this day. These night guards have no molding to fit specific teeth and come in a couple of different styles. However, because they are not molded around your teeth, they can slip around, feel uncomfortable in the mouth, and not offer as much protection as a more personalized night guard would.
Higher end night guards are usually available through your dentist. In fact, if your dentist has pointed out the effects of grinding on your teeth, he or she may already have recommended you wear a night guard while sleeping. To order one through a dentist, you will go into the office to have the dentist take a mold of your mouth. The dentist will then send out to a lab to have the night guard custom-made to fit your mold.
A Night Guard that Fits You Well Can Save Your Veneers
The same study that found that veneer fractures were more likely in patients who ground their teeth, also discovered that no such likelihood was true for those who ground their teeth but wore a correctly fitted night guard. The night guard clearly reduced a patient’s chance of fracturing a veneer.
Unfortunately, the night guard did not show the same ability to reduce debonding among those with teeth grinding. Only those who did not grind their teeth at all saw a lower rate of debonding.
A Night Guard Is Part of the Solution
As you can see, a teeth night guard is not a fix-all, even though it does a great job of protecting your teeth. The best way to avoid the damage caused by teeth grinding is to reduce or eliminate the grinding altogether.
In studies, teeth grinding has been linked to stress, caffeine, excessive alcohol, and bite misalignment. So, you may need to introduce stress reduction into your daily routine through exercise, yoga, or meditation. Or, you might consider eliminating or reducing your intake of caffeine or alcohol. Finally, you should always check to make sure your bit is not causing the issue. Sometimes bite problems, such as underbites, overbites, and crossbites, are obvious, and sometimes they are not.
So, while a night guard is a great way to protect your teeth (or your veneers) while you sleep, you don’t want it to be your only solution. Look for a way to address the root cause of the issue as well.
Get a Night Guard that Fits and Does Not Break Your Bank Account
TeethNightGuard grew out of the Sparkling White Smiles Dental Lab because we realized that customers wanted a night guard option that fits better than drug store options but came in cheaper than the process of going to a dentist. So, we’ve eliminated the middleman. Instead of having your dentist order from us, you can order from us directly.
We will ship you a kit to help you take a mold of your own teeth, and, when you send it back, we will make your custom night guard at our lab right here in the USA.
We recommend starting with our soft, for moderate grinding, or medium, for heavier grinding and clenching, plastic density, and learning from there whether you want to move into a harder density night guard to increase long-term durability.
Doing what you can to protect your teeth and your veneers now will save you a lot of hassle (and pain) down the road.
EXTRA DURABLE CUSTOM NIGHT GUARD - MAXIMUM DURABILITY AND COMFORT - MOST RECOMMENDED
Item Number SWSPRO Manufacturer Sparkling White Smiles Dental Lab Rating Product Description 3mm is the Recommended Standard Thickness for a Professionally made Custom Night Guard Our Custom Teeth Night Guards are BPA, Latex and Phthalate Free MOST RECOMMENDED PROFESSIONAL CUSTOM NIGHT… Read More
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