A night guard is a device which is placed in the mouth on teeth to help deal with grinding or clenching. It is a plastic appliance which is placed in the mouth over some or all upper or lower teeth to prevent the destructive effects of grinding and clenching. Night guards can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. Admire Dental can help you determine which type is best for you depending upon your specific situation.
It is very common for people to grind or clench their teeth. This is called bruxism. At best this leads to worn, flat and unattractive teeth. At worst it can cause a number of symptoms affecting teeth, muscles and the jaw joint (TMJ). Teeth can become very sensitive to cold and hot, or can become loose or even break into pieces. The force of grinding is generated by the chewing muscles and they can become very sore and tired from this effort. Sometimes there is limited ability to open because the muscles are so tight making it difficult to eat. Also, the muscle tenderness or spasm can lead to headaches and neck aches. The last area affected by the force of grinding is the jaw joint or TMJ (temporomandibular joint).
Because of this constant buffeting of grinding and clenching, the TMJ can become very sore, can start popping or clicking and can even stop opening or more alarming, closing. These symptoms can all be very difficult to cope with. A night guard is often the best way of treating these problems, both to remedy them and hopefully to prevent them from occurring or increasing in severity.