Dental night guards protect teeth from wear and reduce sensitivity. Tooth clenching and grinding is known as dental bruxism. Most people that clench are not aware that they have this habit.
Clenching effects teeth
Significant harm occurs from clenching. Under biting force teeth are rubbed against each when bruxing. This habit causes chipping on the edge of the front teeth. Clenching also causes the biting surface of back molars to wear and shorten. Additionally bruxing causes notches and grooves to form on tooth roots. Strong lateral pressure placed on the teeth makes the gums recede. As a result of the pressure teeth become temperature sensitive. Dental night guards protect the teeth from the effects of clenching.
Clenching effects facial muscles
Night time bruxism puts stress on the facial muscles. This muscle stress can then cause headaches. Cheek muscle inflammation, neck and jaw joint (TMJ) pain are common signs of bruxing.
Do store bought night guards help?
Night guards can be purchased at drug stores. These guards can provide temporary help by reducing tooth-against-tooth wear. In order to meet the one-size-fits-all requirement, the appliances are made of a soft material. As a result they are inexpensive. However they do not protect the teeth against the damage of lateral clenching force. It is the lateral (side to side) clenching forces that are most harmful, causing tooth root sensitivity. Despite their limitations, people find store bought night guards helpful but difficult to wear because of the generic fit.
Custom Night Guards
Roman Dental provides custom night guards that protect teeth and the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) while you sleep. Custom night guards are made from high strength materials. The materials provide cushioning and resistance to wear. They are made with a cushioned interior surface and a solid biting surface to distribute pressure. The material and design creates comfort and durability. They prevent damage from teeth grinding and jaw clenching. As the name implies, custom night guards are custom fit for comfort. Night guards help clenchers get a better night’s sleep.
While sleeping you may be quietly wearing down-your teeth by clenching and grinding (Bruxism).
Clenching and grinding are serious conditions that can rapidly wear and damage a tooth, its root, and cause gum recession. Therefore during a dental exam at Roman Dental we ask about symptoms and look for signs that you may be grinding your teeth and/or clenching your jaw at night.
Benefits of custom night guards
People benefit from the protection of night guards. For example, people that wake up with a headache associated with tender muscles surrounding the ear and jaw often find relief by wearing night guards. Other signs that suggest the need for a night guard include tooth mobility, worn-down enamel on back molars and grooves on root surfaces (abfractions). Additionally, sensitivity to cold liquids and cold air can be reduced by wearing a night guard.
Teeth grinding and clenching at night are typically caused by stress, misalignment of teeth, breathing disorders, allergies, or temporo-mandibular joint disorder (TMD). Although the reasons for clenching are complicated the symptoms can be addressed by wearing a night guard.
Book an appointment 24/7 for a dental check-up – it may lead to a better night’s sleep and healthier teeth.