We hope you enjoyed Dr.Walton's post yesterday because Dr.Christakos took the time to write up this post about tooth grinding, enjoy!
It has been well stated that a smile is one’s greatest asset, yet it is not always safe guarded as such. Whether you have all your teeth, or have just invested in restoring or cosmetically enhancing your smile, a night guard may be the best way to look after your investment. A night guard, also known as an occlusal splint, is an appliance often recommended as the first line of treatment for bruxism (teeth grinding) and TMD (dysfunction to the TMJ). It is usually worn while you sleep to prevent damaging your teeth by the clenching or grinding associated with either the psychological aspects of stress, one’s abnormal bite, a sleep disorder, or a combination of the above.
A night guard can help reduce your grinding trouble by:
- helping relax your jaw muscles, which in turn reduce muscle spasms.
- alleviating your headaches.
- enabling your jaw to find its best position, since teeth are prevented from locking together.
- substituting for your teeth when it comes to wear–it's better to grind the night guard than your own teeth.
In a relaxed state during the day, your lips may be together, but your teeth are apart. Grinding will wear away the surfaces of your teeth causing them to be sensitive, or even become loose. The easiest solution to bruxism is the use of night mouth guards.
There two general kinds of this device:
- The first type is the one you can buy over-the-counter.
- The other type is the custom-fitted night mouth guards for maximum protection of your dentures.
Between the two, the custom-fitted night mouth guard is your better choice. It is also best to get custom-fit night mouth guards from the dentists themselves, to be sure that the device won't fall off your teeth as you sleep.
So if you suspect that you may be grinding your teeth at night, come see us for an evaluation.