Bruxism is a term that describes grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw, usually during sleep. While almost every person grinds their teeth minimally during sleep, severe bruxism can lead to long-term problems, including breaking teeth, tooth loss, receding gum lines, or the development of bony ridges in the mouth. Your dentist can help prevent these problems by fitting you with a custom night guard. [pullquote]A night guard is a customized dental appliance made to fit and cover the teeth of your upper or lower jaw.[/pullquote]
A night guard is a customized dental appliance made to fit and cover the teeth of your upper or lower jaw. It provides a barrier between the upper and lower jaws, slowing the wearing effect of bruxism of the surface of the teeth. More importantly, a night guard can provide a corrected bite, alleviating the cause of the bruxism.
Most night guards are made of a molded plastic that is made from impressions of your teeth. The plastic will fit your teeth exactly, and is hard enough to endure the force of the teeth grinding. However, it is soft enough that the friction won’t harm the teeth.
Along with protecting the teeth and correcting the bite, a night guard alleviates pressure on the jaw joints. When a patient suffers from bruxism, the force of the grinding and clenching over the hours of sleep can cause extreme tension in the jaw, facial pain, and headaches. A customized mouth guard that prevents grinding will relieve this pressure on the joints and the surrounding tissues, which should help eliminate the headaches and facial pain.
Being fitted by the dentist for a custom night guard typically takes two appointments. The dentist will make a mold of your teeth and then will send it off to a lab to make the guard. Once the guard is made, you will have a fitting to make sure it is snug and comfortable. The durability of the night guard will depend on its thickness and on the severity of the patient’s grinding habit.
If you would like relief from the symptoms associated with bruxism in Toronto, contact Nicholas Kemp Dentistry at 416-922-1012 to schedule your consultation.