Clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep may cause irreversible damage to your teeth. A night guard could be a simple and affordable solution for protecting your teeth and jaw from the damaging effects of bruxism (clenching and grinding). A night guard is a custom-made horseshoe-shaped (or retainer-like), plastic, appliance with shallow borders. It is designed to keep the upper and lower teeth from touching, and can be worn on either the top or bottom teeth. When properly made, a night guard can help reduce clenching, grinding, and TMJ problems by helping to relax the muscles in the jaw. Severe clenching and grinding (bruxism) can cause jaw pain, tense muscles, headaches, and excessive wear on the teeth.
Our experienced dental team can fit you with a night guard to lessen the damaging effects of clenching or grinding your teeth. Night guards can also correct your bite by properly positioning the teeth. Call our office or contact us to make your night guard appointment.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the medical terminology used to describe grinding or clenching of teeth. Bruxism is abnormal chewing activity that is caused by uncontrolled activation of reflex chewing pathways. Some people with bruxism unconsciously clench or grind their teeth at night or during the daytime when they are under stress. In most cases, bruxism may be mild and require no treatment. However, in other cases it can be severe and cause damage to teeth, TM Joint, headaches and other jaw disorders.
Signs & Symptoms of Bruxism:
- Worn down enamel, chipped or flattened teeth.
- Jaw pain or tightness in neck and facial muscles (especially in early morning after you wake up)
- Headache and Migraine Triggers.
- Chronic Myofacial Pain.
- Chewed Tissue on inside of cheeks or tongue.
- Earaches not caused by any pathology in your ear.
Treatment for Bruxism varies to the degree of severity of the disease, from physical therapy, to muscle relaxants to fabrication of night guards. Please feel free to call us for consultation regarding bruxism, night guards, and TMJ Disorders.