From grinding, to biting and clenching, many patients unknowingly abuse their teeth while they sleep. This can cause damage to your teeth. Some examples of what can happen from grinding are wearing through enamel, chipping, or ruining expensive dental repairs. These damages can lead to decay, spacing issues, and jaw misalignment. This grinding, or clenching motion is called “bruxism”.
Night guards, formerly known as “orthotics” can help. A night guard is a custom fitted plate that fits over the top or bottom teeth to cover and protect them from grinding and other sleep issues. Night guards are also a wise investment to protect new dental work, which can often be uncomfortable at first, and cause grinding.
Who Needs a Night Guard
Some symptoms of nocturnal grinding can include; dull headaches upon waking, jaw soreness, teeth that are suddenly loose or sore, and chipped or fractured teeth. If you notice any of these symptoms and think you might need a night guard, a consultation is needed.
For adults, night grinding is typically caused by stress or anxiety. This may require additional treatments such as sleep aids, or even counseling, to remove the cause of the stress. A night guard can help to prevent further damage until a solution can be found.
For children, stress and anxiety are not typically the cause. They may have an irritation in the mouth, misaligned teeth, or even allergies that can contribute to grinding teeth. Our staff is skilled at helping determine the cause and recommending the right solution.
Getting the Right Fit
Since you will be sleeping with the guard in place, it is essential that it fits properly to eliminate choking hazards. Some patients need the guard for the top teeth while others may need them on the bottom. We can help determine this through examination of the wear or damage and find the best fit for you. A night guard custom fitted to your specific teeth is the best protection. Our trained staff can make sure that your night guard provides maximum protection and comfort. Made from long lasting materials, and specifically molded to suit your situation, a night guard from Shattuck Dentistry & Braces is your best bet.