Dental Night Guards
Night guards, or occlusal guards, are special devices that help protect your teeth from destructive grinding force while sleeping or, in some cases, during the day. Patients that grind and clench their teeth at night are usually good candidates for these appliances as the device can reduce tooth damage, jaw pain, headaches, and other issues.
Night guards are created by taking impressions of your teeth and then sending them to a dental laboratory. The laboratory creates a comfortable, custom acrylic device that slips over the top of one arch of teeth. The dentist will then adjust the appliance to ensure a comfortable, appropriate bite that will help reduce the stress and trauma to the temporomandibular joint and its supporting muscles and teeth.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the term dentists use to refer to the clenching of the jaw or the grinding of the teeth. While it can occur during the daytime, it most often happens at night. Because bruxism occurs mainly at night, many patients are unaware they are clenching or grinding their teeth and are unable to stop without the help of a protective device.
Bruxism can lead to:
Patients can suffer from bruxism at any age and it can be commonly seen in children. In adults, it can happen as a result of stress or sleep pattern disruptions.
We’re usually able to diagnose bruxism simply by examining the teeth and inside of the mouth. X-rays may be taken to detect any changes in the teeth or jaw.