We make custom-fitted night guards to alleviate stress on the temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) which may be resulting in soreness or pain.
Throughout all the stresses that we put our joints through, patients may not realize that the soreness or pain they are experiencing in their jaw or ears may be due to stresses on their Temporal Mandibular Joint. We custom fabricate appliances to help alleviate those stresses and prevent further damage and pain.
Bruxism is a condition that causes clenching and/or grinding of teeth. This causes additional, unnecessarily stress on tooth surfaces and can lead to TMJ pain. Often, people with bruxism are unaware that they are clenching or grinding their teeth, especially if it happens during sleep. A night guard is a removable acrylic appliance that can help provide relief from temporomandibular joint pain and other effects of grinding the teeth. The night guard is usually worn at night to prevent grinding of the teeth during sleep.
What is bruxism?
Many times, we can find ourselves waking up to a stiff jaw, a small headache, some tooth pain, etc. It can be to the point where sometimes you cannot even open your mouth all the way, which can be a scary experience. We might tend to think it is just something we have to adapt to, but the reality is that you might be suffering from bruxism.
What are the signs and symptoms of bruxism?
People who suffer from bruxism may have one or more of these symptoms:
- worn or cracked teeth or fillings
- frequent toothaches
- sensitive teeth
- headache or earache
- sore jaw
- jaw clicking
- facial pain
- marks from pressing your teeth into your tongue
- trouble sleeping
What causes bruxism?
Stress, sleep disorders and a bite that is not normal (malocclusion) are some things that may play a role. What is causing you to grind your teeth may not be known for sure.
Your dentist can see if you have bruxism by checking for cracks in your enamel, unusual wear spots on your teeth, and looking at any related symptoms. Regular dental checkups are important to find damage in the early stages. Dr. Tyler can help manage bruxism and the related symptoms, as well as repair your teeth if necessary and help prevent further damage.
How is bruxism treated?
A night guard is one of the best solutions to alleviating bruxism. Night guards are custom-made by your dentist from plastic (acrylic resin). The night guard slips over your upper or lower teeth and prevents them from touching. It protects your teeth, helps keep them from wearing down, and provides rest for your jaw.
Importantly, night guards can protect your investment in restorative dentistry. Clenching and grinding can damage otherwise healthy fillings, crowns, or implant restorations. This can lead to the need for premature replacement. Wearing a night guard can extend the lifespan of your dental prosthetics and is highly recommended by Dr. Tyler.
A well-made night guard, properly fit and adjusted, is also capable of preventing many of the symptoms related to temporomandibular disorder (TMD). When used in this capacity, they are often referred to as an occlusal appliance, stabilization appliance, bite splint, or bite guard. As a prosthodontist, Dr. Tyler has received advanced training to make these appliances. In order to be an effective treatment to alleviate the symptoms of TMD, the appliance needs to be adjusted in a very precise way, sometimes taking multiple chairside adjustments to achieve the desired relief to your symptoms. If you are experiencing any symptoms of TMD, make sure to talk to Dr. Tyler to find out whether or not an occlusal appliance is the right option for you.