With the stresses of today, more and more people are showing signs of teeth grinding. Many do not even realize they are doing it until their dentist points out the damage. In today’s blog your Rochester, MN, dentist discusses night guards and how they help in maintaining a healthy smile.
What is a Night Guard?
A night guard is a hard or softer piece of plastic that fits over the teeth to protect them as you sleep. They can be purchased over the counter, but they often result in jaw pain and misalignment due to poor fit. To ensure your best comfort and oral health, a custom occlusal guard can be made by your dentist. The process involves taking extremely accurate digital impressions. They are electronically sent to a lab that customizes your guard to fit you specifically. This ensures that your jaw and teeth can be aligned in a healthier position. When the appliance is ready, we will try it in your mouth and ensure it is comfortable and adjusted to your teeth perfectly. We can review your dental insurance policy to see if you have coverage.
Why Do I Need a Guard?
Grinding and clenching the teeth can lead to extensive damage. For some, the damage may occur more quickly and for others, it may be a very slow process. Signs include recession or root exposure, flattening cusps, exposure of the yellowish-orange dentin, jaw pain, headaches, and tooth sensitivity. It is important to be aware of the small changes to the tooth structure to prevent larger and more costly dental work. Cracks in the teeth can lead to crowns, root canals, and even tooth loss. A night guard reduces the occlusal forces that cause tooth damage.
Why Do I Grind My Teeth
People grind their teeth for different reasons. Some may do it in times of stress or anxiety. This can be just a temporary situation that may resolve once the stress is alleviated. Others may have misalignment of the teeth and jaw that cause a more chronic condition called bruxism. It is important to keep up with your dental check-ups so that your dentist can monitor for early signs of grinding and prevent more serious issues. We review your medical history as well to ensure that medical conditions aren’t contributing to your dental conditions.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you suspect that you may be damaging your teeth with clenching or grinding, let us discuss options to protect you. Take proactive steps and call Greenview Cosmetic And Family Dentistry in Rochester, MN at (507) 281-3659.