To prevent bruxism, which is the unintentional grinding of teeth, patients are provided custom night guards. Bruxism can wear down teeth and increase the risk of tooth decay, periodontal disease, and at its worst tooth loss. Bruxism can lead to temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, disorders which cause jaw pain and headaches. Grinding can also cause the jaw to produce a clicking noise it is opened and closed. Nightly mouthguards are used to prevent grinding and clenching when the person is asleep.
Several distinctive factors can cause teeth grinding. Prolonged stress and an unbalanced bite can impact grinding. Often, when the unbalanced bite is corrected by either restoring missing teeth or address those which are damaged or misaligned, the grinding is stopped. If the grinding is a result of nervous or anxious tension, stress management can help. The habit can be hard to break; however, this is why mouthguards are extremely helpful for patients. They protect the teeth while other treatments are working to address the cause of the grinding.
Mouthguards obtained from a general retailer are created to fit all customers and will not be able to accommodate a patient’s specific teeth and jaw structures. This makes them far less successful and typically a great deal less comfortable. Even store bought mouthguards which use hot water to mold them will lose their shape over time and don’t fit as good as those from at the dentist. Custom sports and night guards available from the dentist’s office will be crafted purposely to match the shape of the patient’s bite and mouth. The dentist will collect impressions of the lower and upper teeth and will then refer them to an advanced dental lab where the personalized guard will be fabricated. These guards will be made out of durable, high-tech materials which are strong and long-lasting.
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