People who grind their teeth at night (Bruxism) are at a high risk of developing Temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder. This occurs when the jaw is exposed to trauma (gradual or acute), and it can cause considerable pain and discomfort. Teeth grinding is almost always not a voluntary action; individuals who are stressed or who suffer from anxiety are more prone to grind their teeth during their waking and sleeping hours, but this condition also affects those who have an offset bite or who may be missing teeth.
Do You Have Bruxism?
The continual rubbing of the upper and lower jaw against one another can irritate the temporomandibular joint, often to the point where frequent pain and lockjaw will occur. Since teeth grinding is largely an unconscious action, the best way to prevent it from causing oral health problems is by using a specialized mouth guard.
Choosing the Right Night Guard
Custom fit night guards are highly recommended over their store bought counterparts, because they are designed specifically for your individual jaw structure and bite impression. A generic mold may prevent your teeth from grinding, but not as effectively. As well, since generic night guards are only manufactured in certain sizes, many patients often find them uncomfortable to wear, and may experience more pain due to their jaws being adjusted incorrectly.
The clear night guard we prescribe our patients at Impressions Dental is durable, easy to use and highly effective at stopping your night time teeth clenching and grinding habits. After a brief consultation, your dentist will take a temporary mold of your teeth and send it to a lab, where it will be used to make a custom night guard that mimics the unique contours of your jaw. TMJ and other jaw disorders can potentially lead to complications with speech and chewing, which is why detecting teeth grinding early is essential.