Specialized mouth gear includes night guards, sport guards and orthodontic retainers. Let’s start with night guards.
Night guards are often mistaken for sports guards but they are very different.
A dental night guard places your jaw in a restful position and prevents further damage to your jaw joints and teeth. Contact Coquitlam family dentist, Altitude Dental, to fit you for a custom guard.
The purpose of a night guard is to place your jaw in a restful position preventing further damage to the jaw joints and your teeth.
Clenching and/or grinding of the teeth (also known as burxism) is a very common condition. Some signs that you may be grinding your teeth are:
- waking up with a sore jaw
- a dull or throbbing headache
- generalized tooth pain
However, you might be unaware that you are grinding your teeth because it happens most often at night while you are asleep. Not only does grinding and clenching put tremendous pressure on your jaw joint, it can also start to alter and dame the cartilage that protects the jaw.
If the clenching or grinding occurs over a long period of time then it can start to damage the teeth and/or the jaw joints. On the teeth, the enamel will start to wear away and the darker yellow dentin will start to show. In the jaw joint, the jaw joint bone will start to change shape and the cartilage that helps protect the jaw joint can be damaged.
People with damaged jaw joints can develop Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) which affects the jaw, facial nerves, and facial joints and can result in pain and swelling around the jaw joints and up to the ear.
Bruxism (clenching and grinding your teeth) can cause irreversible damage to your teeth. If your teeth aren’t protected from this jaw force, over time the enamel will wear away – this weakened enamel can start to chip and crack, leading to the need for restorative dental treatments. If you cannot stop clenching or grinding your teeth or if you do not use a dental night guard custom designed for your mouth and teeth, then you may end up with more serious health issues over the long term.
Dental Night Guard – Protect your Teeth and Jaw
The best treatment for this issue – is early intervention and prevention. We strongly recommend having an assessment of your teeth and your jaw joint to see if you could benefit from night guard protection.
To find out if a dental night guard is right for you, contact our office for a consultation with Dr. Vaida at Coquitlam’s Altitude Dental.