Nightguards are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite. At New Albany Smiles, our night guards are molded to fit the shape of your teeth in a custom orthotic laboratory. Your night guard will relax your muscles and reduce pain from excessive clenching or grinding.
Teeth grinding or clenching, known as bruxism, is common among dental patients everywhere, and they may not even know that they do it. Teeth grinding typically happens overnight while you’re asleep, so it can be hard to tell if you’re doing it.
Bruxism is defined by your teeth moving laterally against each other. This movement can cause damage to the teeth, leaving them susceptible to decay of the enamel and loss of your teeth’s sharp biting surfaces.
If you’ve had dental work done, those treatments can also be put at risk of destruction by bruxism. Grinding of the teeth may also be due to the jaws clenching and putting pressure on your teeth, and that clenching can result in pain in the morning and disturbed sleep through the night. If you wake up feeling tired, with a sore jaw, a headache, or pain in your face, it may be because you’re spending episodic moments of sleeping time clenching your jaw and wearing down your teeth.
When done regularly, bruxism can be destructive to your teeth and is often caused by stress and anxiety. Alcohol use, smoking, snoring, caffeine, and an abnormal bite have also been linked to teeth grinding, but no matter the cause, night guards are a way to prevent further damage.
Dr. Angart is very specific that your night guard is made with your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) in its neutral position. This is only possible by taking very specific bite records. Our night guards are specific custom made appliances that are fabricated in our laboratory. As your jaw clenches, the night guard protects your top and bottom teeth from each other and adds cushion to the muscles in your jaw. This separation helps prevent both the pain of tightening your face muscles and damage to the enamel of your teeth.