Teeth grinding (bruxism) or clenching can cause tooth damage, headaches and migraines, TMJ disorder, and other adverse side effects. It affects 8-16% of the adult population and 14-20% of children. To treat or manage your bruxism, dentists and orthodontists have several occlusal therapies they can recommend. Occlusal appliances, such as night guards are a common treatment option often prescribed by doctors.
A night guard is a thin piece of hard plastic made from impressions of your teeth that is placed on the upper teeth. The night guard is hard enough to be durable but it is softer than teeth and protects them from wear. A night guard protects your teeth and jaw from the detrimental effects of nighttime teeth grinding. The pressure created by grinding can eventually wear your teeth down! Other warning signs that you may be grinding your teeth at night include headaches (sometimes severe) and jaw pain when you wake up in the morning.
A nighttime dental guard can provide a cushion of space between your teeth that will protect them from the destructive forces generated by overactive chewing muscles. This aggressive muscle activity, called teeth grinding and clenching, can cause excessive tooth wear, chipping, fractures, loosening of the teeth, or even TMJ disorder. Spacing your teeth apart also decompresses the jaw joints (TMJ). This decompression is an unloading of the joints, much like crutches allow you to take the weight off an injured knee or hip. Night guards are designed to re-establish your “natural” freeway space, which protects your teeth from clenching and grinding day or night.
Patients can stop this neuromuscular disorder while wearing a nighttime dental guard. Well Beyond Dental is the best dentist in Reno for TMJ Disorder treatment. Call us today if you feel you may be suffering from any of these symptoms and to learn how a nighttime dental guard can help.