Do you notice that you grind or clench your teeth? Are you having TMJ, that is compromised movement of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles? If so, there is an effective treatment to help combat these habits and symptoms called an occlusal guard.
A majority of grinding or clenching occurs during sleep. Jaw pain, soreness, and teeth sensitivity are some of the after effects of teeth grinding. At times, patients may be symptom free, however, the dentist will be able to identify if wear patterns (flattened cusps on teeth, thinning enamel) on teeth are present during an examination and cleaning visit.
An occlusal night guard, which is similar in appearance to a sports mouth guard, is an excellent treatment option to combat the effects of grinding. An occlusal night guard is made of a firm plastic type material that is custom made to your teeth. By wearing the occlusal guard while sleeping, the jaw muscles relax and grinding and clenching of teeth are limited. It is a safe, simple, effective treatment option that can limit teeth grinding, prevent jaw soreness, teeth sensitivity and decrease the risk of cavities as it helps keep the protective enamel layer intact.