Why might a night guard or other protective appliance be advisable?
A night guard (occlusal splint, bite guard) my serve as a preventive measure for already healthy teeth, or it may be the best way of looking after your investment of cosmetic and restoring procedures. A night guard is often recommended as the first line of treatment for bruxism, (teeth grinding) and TMD (dysfunction of the TMJ). It is usually worn while you sleep to prevent damaging your teeth by the clenching or grinding associated with either the psychological aspects of stress, one's abnormal bite, a sleep disorder, or a combination of the above.
Can I talk with this night guard in my mouth?
Is this a hard acrylic type night guard?
Is it really simple to take my own impressions at home?
How long does it take to get the night guards back?
What about adjustments?
What if they don't fit?
What is bruxism (teeth grinding & clenching)?
Many people are unaware that they even have bruxism since it often occurs while they're sleeping. If you wake up with dull headaches or vise-like pain, you may be one of many people suffering from bruxism. Your dentist can usually detect the telltale signs of bruxism on your teeth.
Can bruxism cause harm?
People who have otherwise healthy teeth and gums can clench so often and so hard that over time their teeth become sensitive and they experience jaw pain and headaches. Forceful biting when not eating may cause the jaw to move out of proper balance.
What are the signs of bruxism?
Bruxers may experience pain in their temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or the jaw, which may manifest itself as popping and clicking. Tongue indentations are another sign of clenching. Stress and certain personality types are more often affected by bruxism.
For as long as humankind has existed, bruxism has affected people with nervous tension. Anger, pain and frustration can trigger bruxing. People who are aggressive, competitive, and hurried also may be at greater risk for bruxism. Incidentally, women have a higher prevalence of bruxism, possibly because they are more likely to experience tissue alterations in the jaw.
What causes bruxism?
What can be done about bruxism?
Many times a night guard can prevent grinding from occurring during sleep. To help alleviate muscle pain, physical therapy may be needed. The objective of therapy is to get the bruxer to change behavior by learning how to rest the tongue, teeth and lips properly. When some people become aware of their problem, simply advising them to rest their tongue upward with teeth apart and lips shut may be enough to change their behavior and relieve discomfort.