Nightguards and Grinding
The statistics are not good. Some studies show that an estimated 20 percent of the population during waking hours and 8 percent during sleep grind. Grinding professionally known as Bruxing and its close cousin Clenching cause a lot of pain, suffering , and cracked teeth among other things.
The symptoms can range from none and the only reason you know is that the person you share a bed with tells you make noise grinding (Described sometimes as two bricks rubbing together) or the dentists notices wear marks on your teeth (known as wear facets)to debilitating migraine like headaches.
The treatments can range from soft diet and NSAIDs(anti inflammatory drugs) to narcotics (with all the dependency baggage and the loss of efficacy).
The first step is soft diet, Nsaids and fabrication of a Nightguard. Stress reduction cut down on caffeine. These are mostly straightforward.
Night Guards come in different types. The NTI covers only the front 2-4 teeth small and unobtrusive.
The standard night guard is a U shaped mouth guard looking device which covers the chewing surfaces of one arch of the mouth. Then there are others that cover just the chewing surfaces.
These appliances keep the teeth from touching.that is their function I even have some patients that must wear them during the day. These are made to be more comfortable and discrete.
It is not well understood what the cause of grinding is. It was thought that stress was the cause. The problem is that not all people under a lot of stress grind and clench. Not everyone who grinds will grind all the time . They might grind in stretches and then stop. It might have something to do with Dopamine. I read an article in the New York Times years ago which did a pretty good job describing grinding .