A night guard is an appliance used to treat teeth grinding, also known as bruxism.
A night guard is worn over the top or bottom teeth to provide a type of cushion for your teeth to prevent grinding. Teeth grinding is a common condition for a lot of patients we see. Grinding can occur because of jaw structure and stress, which puts pressure on teeth. This condition more commonly occurs at night and can cause headaches, tooth sensitivity and a considerable amount of jaw pain. If left untreated, grinding can lead to a loss of enamel, structural damage, noticeable sensitivity to hot and cold, and changes in the vertical dimension of your facial profile.
Although dental crowns and removable dentures are a way to fix the problem, grinding affects most of your teeth at once, making for costly repairs. By using a night guard appliance, you not only save yourself from the cost of other dental procedures, but it is a far less invasive treatment.
Because majority of teeth grinders experience the habit in their sleep, it’s hard to tell if teeth grinding is causing problems or if it’s a different oral health problem. If you think you may grind your teeth, there are a few things you can look out for that can give you an answer:
During your dental cleaning or oral exam, Dr. Wat or a dental hygienist may ask if you experience any jaw pain or teeth grinding. Sometimes teeth grinding is noticeable from the patient’s experience, and sometimes it is discovered through the examination. If Dr. Wat thinks you may benefit from a night guard, you will need to book an appointment where you can be fitted for one. Custom night guards are developed in a laboratory based off teeth impressions taken during your appointment. Although you can buy night guard kits at a local drugstore, the ones made at the dentist office are higher quality and adjusted to give your teeth the most relief.
Night Guards should be worn every night to provide the most support for your teeth. Dr. Wat may have different recommendations on use depending on the patient. Children who grind their teeth often will stop by age 13, however, for adults the problem is longer lasting. Stonegate Dental will monitor your progress and make changes to your oral care as necessary.
If you suffer from teeth grinding or have jaw pain, an exam or consultation is the first step to relief. If your teeth grinding is significant, will be able to take the burden off your teeth and prevent further tooth damage. For more information about night guards and our Guelph dentist office, please don’t hesitate to contact us.