A custom dental night guard is a key item used for dental pain relief. Most importantly, night guards reduce tooth pressure. As a result, custom-made dental night guards help relieve the pain from tooth clenching. Moreover, a custom dental night guard will sooth tooth pain, muscle tenderness, jaw tenderness and reduce tooth wear.
Take action to stop a toothache caused by clenching. First, wear a night guard. Second, take an appropriate anti-inflammatory medicine. Most importantly, see your dentist for professional care. These simple steps will allow you to get a good nights sleep. Additionally, dental night guards prevent the need for root canal therapy and help maintain healthy teeth.
If you wake up with a throbbing toothache, yet your aching tooth looks fine, the pain might be caused by tooth clenching or grinding. Clenching and grinding is called bruxism.
Ultimately the best and quickest way to resolve a toothache is by consulting a dentist for an in-person dental check-up.
Is it a cavity or is it clenching?
A broken or decayed tooth can cause lots of pain and suffering. However, a cavity that is big enough to cause pain is also usually big enough to be seen in the mirror. Therefore if your tooth appears normal, except that its sensitive to pressure and cold drinks, the problem may be that you “brux” while sleeping. If your toothache is accompanied by tender jaw muscles and restless sleep – clenching is most likely the problem.
Root sensitivity is a symptom of severe biting pressure. Sensitivity can be confirmed by rubbing the offending tooth root with a tooth pick or fingernail. This test of tenderness should be performed gently.
Why is professional care needed for bruxism & tooth grinding?
Bruxing in combination with gum disease is a primary reason that teeth are extracted. Moreover, throbbing dental pain can completely distract a person from all other concerns such as sleep, child-care, work and play.
Additionally, tooth grinding leads to root damage. The root damage is caused by strong vertical and lateral biting pressure forces. Because this lateral (side to side movements of the jaws with vertical pressure applied) stress flexes the tooth roots, tooth structure slowly dissolves away. The tooth damaged that results from clenching is called an abfraction. Over time Abfractions lead to sensitivity and root surface cavities along with the tooth loss. The root damage from abfractions is accelerated by aggressive tooth brushing and by drinking carbonated and acidic foods.
The serious damage that occurs, develops gradually. Diagnosis and treatments to slow the damage and protect the roots are complex and include: orthodontics, restorative dentistry, bite adjustments, root canal therapy, night-time breathing evaluation, diet control, gum grafting and night guard usage. Injury from bruxism is irreversible and professional help with routine follow-up care every six months is the best long-term course of action.
Immediate help is at the pharmacy
These two simple treatments quickly relieve the pain caused by clenching.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce tissue swelling within the tooth. As a result, they provide dramatic reduction of dental pain. Oral pain medication relieves discomfort caused from clenching just as well as it relieves pain caused by tooth decay.
FYI: Tylenol is not an anti-inflammatory drug and is therefore not as effective as ibuprofen, the most common NSAID.
Always follow drug labeling and dosage recommendations of the drug maker. NSAIDs are not safe for all patients.
Professional help is at the dental office
Night guards are custom-made to relieve pain & muscle tension
Wearing an inexpensive night guard can temporarily help. They are available in the toothpaste aisle of grocery stores. These store-bought night guards are placed between the upper and lower teeth. They reduce the pressure placed upon the teeth during nighttime tooth grinding. As a result, toothaches and sensitivity will resolve.
Appliances purchased from the pharmacy are meant to be used only temporarily. Long-term daily use of store-bought appliances can cause real harm, teeth can shift, negatively affecting the way teeth fit together. Store-bought night guards usually fit poorly and should only be used as an emergency solution.
Visit a dentist to have a custom night guard made. Night guards relieve tooth and jaw pain. Also, they protect your teeth. Importantly, dental night guards reduce thermal sensitivity, temporomandibular joint and cheek muscle pain.