Nighttime Mouth Guards
Night mouth guards help to protect the teeth and jaws from grinding. The team at South Austin Dental are experts in fitting mouth guards that will give you the protection you need.
Teeth grinding (or bruxism) is an issue that affects a large part of the population, leading to jaw clenching and chronic pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Teeth grinding can lead to frequent headaches and pain the temporomandibular and ear area, as well as in the jaw muscle. These are just a few symptoms of bruxism, which most often occurs at night during sleep and is a significant issue that should be dealt with carefully. Our mouth guards will help to protect such grinding when you are sleeping.
Many people do not know they suffer from bruxism, only finding out during dental checks due to the evidence left on the teeth and jaw. Bruxism can be both diurnal and nocturnal but nocturnal bruxism is the most prevalent. Directly or indirectly, bruxism can cause many issues from teeth abrasion to teeth loss. Furthermore, ligaments can be damaged, and the mandible itself can go through pathological changes.
Symptoms of Bruxism
The signs of bruxism initially appear at teeth level. The first obvious symptoms are damage and fissures to the enamel, as well as changes in teeth shape, often because of damage to lateral teeth and grinding of frontal teeth. Another symptom of bruxism is the appearance of dental sensitivity and chronic dental pain. Pain can also occur around the ears, due to damage to the temporomandibular joint and the enlargement of the masseter muscle.
The causes of bruxism are unclear, but besides dental alignment issues, many specialists believe it is caused or accentuated by high levels of stress. Studies show a correlation between bruxism and anxiety and between bruxism and hyperactivity. Regardless, our dentistry experts are on hand to help protect you from the harm that bruxism can cause.
Nighttime Mouth Guards
We can treat bruxism with night mouth guards: specially made devices that fit the teeth of one of the arcades. Mouth guards are made as part of the patient’s dental treatment, including the minimization of imperfect teeth contact and bite analysis. The mouth guard will also help relax masticatory muscles, by positioning the mandible in a favorable or neutral position.
It’s important to mention that before recommending the use of a night mouth guard, or another type of oral appliance therapy, the first step is ensuring that are no other orthodontic problems. If such orthodontic problems are found, they may solve teeth grinding problems if corrected, improving the movement dynamics of the mandible.
If no dental alignment issues are found, the issue may be neurological or psychological, in which case night mouth guards are needed as a symptomatic treatment. These make sure teeth, and the jaw is not damaged at night.
If you have any questions regarding bruxism and what you can do about it, contact the experts at South Austin Dental at (512) 441-8922. We look forward to hearing from you so we can begin helping you right away.