From Bruxism to TMJ: How Night Guards Can Help

Occasional bruxism (clenching or grinding your teeth) during sleep is pretty common among children and adults. However, this becomes a matter of concern if it is persistent, leading to headaches, tooth or jaw pain, or damage to your teeth. It is best to seek dental care and discuss the symptoms with your dentist.

The renowned dentist Mill Creek WA, and their expert team offer advanced diagnosis and treatment options to treat bruxism, thereby improving your quality of life. One such useful appliance is a night guard. 

Bruxism is defined as a condition that is characterized by habitual clenching or grinding of your teeth. This can happen while you are asleep (sleep bruxism) or awake (awake bruxism), leading to an array of symptoms. 

What are the symptoms of bruxism? 

Common signs of sleep bruxism include:

  • Chipped teeth
  • The presence of faucets on the occlusal surfaces of the molars
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Waking up with a severe headache
  • TMJ disorder- jaw tenderness due to constant clenching of the teeth
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity 
  • Gum disease

What are night guards?

Night guards are dental appliances that are designed to fit securely around your teeth. These are made up of clear or transparent biocompatible plastic; thus, it does not pose any cosmetic concerns. Night guards are either available in the market or fabricated by your dentist. The guards provided by your dentist are the most preferred since they are of high quality, yielding better results. 

What is the role of night guards?

Night guards are excellent therapeutic aids that help in the following ways:

Prevent damage: Night guards help prevent damage to the tooth and soft tissues by acting like shock absorbers to distribute the forces.

Ease discomfort: Bruxism can lead to severe strain on facial muscles. This leads to headaches and tooth or jaw pain.

Prevent TMJ disorder: TMJ pain is a classic sign of bruxism that can be debilitating.

How are night guards fabricated?

Your dentist will evaluate your clinical symptoms, and perform a dental exam to assess the severity of bruxism.

The procedure is as follows:

  • Your dentist will thoroughly clean your mouth to remove any plaque or debris.
  • A full mouth impression of your upper and lower jaw will be recorded and sent to the lab.
  • A customized night guard will be fabricated.

Your dentist will provide all the necessary instructions about the usage of the night guard. You are expected to use the night guard every night for the desired period of time as instructed by your dentist. Regular follow-up visits are essential to evaluate the effect of night guard. 


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