Night Guards

Bruxism, commonly called “Teeth Grinding”, is characterized by the grinding of the teeth and is typically accompanied by the clenching of the jaw. Primarily, clenching and grinding take place while sleeping, but it is common during the waking hours as well. This grinding or clenching of your teeth, can result from even a slight discrepancy in your bite pattern.

According to sleep studies, 1 in 10 people suffer from some form of teeth grinding or teeth clenching, and that it is the third most frequent sleep disorder, with snoring and insomnia coming in first and second. This occurs in both children as well as adults, but is most common in those that are 25-44 years old. Many children who suffer from this disorder grow out of it as they mature. This appears to affect women more severely than men.

While this is not a fatal condition, it can be quite debilitating in many ways. It can result in extreme dental problems (the wearing down of teeth), jaw and neck pain, depression, feeling run down and tired all the time (from lack of sleep), and migraines. Many people are not even aware that they suffer from this condition. However, their spouse or significant other is usually VERY aware (as they are awakened by the noise this causes).

Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • TMJ or Temporomandibular joint discomfort.
  • Muscle aches 
  • Facial muscle pain
  • Ear ache
  • Tightness and stiffness of the shoulders.
  • Limitation of mouth opening and sleep disruption of the individual as well as the bed partner.
  • Abnormal tooth wear
  • Fracturing of the teeth
  • Inflammation and recession of the gums
  • Excess tooth mobility and premature loss of teeth.

If these symptoms are occurring, our dentist may recommend that you wear a night guard while you sleep. A night guard is a moldable, custom-fit dental protector that fits over your top teeth. It is designed with a soft upper layer to cushion and absorb, and a firm lower layer to prevent grinding. And it's slim and flexible, so you can sleep comfortably.

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