Occlusal & Night Guards in Uptown
Are you experiencing the signs of tooth wear or jaw pain? Studies show many people clench and grind their teeth while they sleep. Some patients may have no issues but for the vast majority of us we begin to have problems related to this. For some, the jaw muscles and TMJ (jaw joint) may become tight and sore. Tooth structure, such as the enamel, does not grow back and will begin to wear down when teeth are grinding against each other. At Broadway Dental Co. our first line of defense to treat these issues is an occlusal guard (also known as a night guard). This appliance will help to protect your teeth and prevent further damage from occurring. It is also the most conservative TMD treatment approach, which is the uncomfortable disorder associated with your jaw joint. These minimal appliances are worn at night to maintain your smile and ensure you can receive a good night’s sleep.
Do You Need an Occlusal Guard?
Many patients clench and grind while they sleep but not everyone will experience the symptoms associated with this. For some people, enamel will begin to irreversibly wear down and cracks may begin to occur. Sometimes existing dental restorations, such as fillings and crowns, will chip and break as well. If your dentist notices these changes or you suspect damage to your teeth, a night guard will often be recommended.
For those patients experiencing jaw pain it can begin to affect your quality of life. This discomfort can cause sleep disruptions and also result in soreness throughout the day. These issues can have a domino effect and can lead to other symptoms, such as headaches, difficulty chewing, difficulty opening, and bite changes. If you are beginning to experience these problems or have been for a long time, a night guard for teeth is usually the best option for you.
A guard works by keeping the teeth apart while you sleep. It will help to provide a cushion between your upper and lower teeth to prevent them from wearing against each other. The careful repositioning of your jaw joint using the guard is necessary to help the muscles relax. When an optimal jaw position is achieved during sleep then the uncomfortable side effects associated with TMJ disorders will start to decrease during your waking hours. Your guard is custom designed to fit your mouth and will be adjusted precisely to achieve an ideal outcome.
Occlusal Guard FAQ
How often should I wear my night guard?
For best results, you should wear the guard every night while you sleep. Once you’re accustomed to your guard, skipping a night may lead to a headache and other TMD related symptoms the following day. It’s unnecessary to wear your guard during the day.
Will my occlusal guard cure TMD?
The underlying causes of TMD are often difficult to diagnose and vary from patient to patient. If you are wearing a night guard for teeth, it will help to decrease grinding and alleviate any associated discomfort. For many people, wearing a guard is a lifetime commitment and replacements will be needed over time. A guard is often our first step and most conservative approach to TMD treatment. If you are experiencing moderate to severe jaw issues that cannot be relieved by a guard, we will recommend you work with a local specialist who can provide other thorough treatment options.
How often does my guard need to be replaced?
The life span of a guard varies from patient to patient. With good care and maintenance, your guard can last for many years. For patients who are heavy grinders, their night guards will begin to show signs of wear and tear much sooner. Make sure to bring your guard to your regular check up appointments so we can clean it professionally for you. Eventually a guard will need to be replaced if it cracks or the damage affects its overall integrity. Some patients may also elect to replace the guard sooner for hygienic reasons.
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