What Is a Night Guard?
A night guard is similar to a sports mouth guard that’s designed to protect your teeth from damage related to night clenching and grinding. It’s made of a sturdy material, and you put it in before you go to bed so that you press your teeth against the cushioning guard rather than grinding them against each other.
Do You Have Night Bruxism?
One of the problems with diagnosing night bruxism is that it happens at night,when you’re asleep. However, there are some signs that you can look for that can indicate you have this condition. This includes:
- Waking with a sore jaw or toothache
- Waking with a headache
- Loose fillings
- Loose teeth
- Chipped or worn tooth enamel
- Receding gum line
- Tooth sensitivity
If you experience these problems, it’s a good idea to talk to Rochester Hills dentist Dr. Wolfe about night bruxism.
Is Your Bruxism Linked to Other Conditions?
Bruxism is often linked to other jaw conditions that we might want to treat. One of the most common associations is with TMJ. In TMJ, your jaw might not be able to find a comfortable rest position. To try to achieve a good rest position, your muscles might pull hard at your jaw, pressing your teeth against each other.
Sleep apnea can also be linked to night bruxism. In obstructive sleep apnea, your airway collapses and your can try to support the airway better by clenching the jaw.
If either of these conditions are responsible for your night bruxism, we might recommend oral appliances that can help treat them instead of a simple night guard.
The Night Guard Procedure
To design your night guard, Rochester Hills dentist Dr. Matthew Wolfe will first take oral impressions and x-rays of your teeth and jaws. Then he will send the information to a dental laboratory with specific instructions for the night guard. The laboratory technicians will manufacture your night guard with a combination of materials designed to protect your teeth and resist damage from clenching and g