A mouthguard is a protective device that covers your teeth and gums to prevent and/or reduce dental and facial injuries. Mouthguards are most commonly used in:
- Oral medicine to prevent tooth friction and abrasion for people who have grinding and clenching problems also known as bruxism
- Oral medicine to reduce strain of the jaw joint in temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
- Oral medicine as a night protector of thin porcelain veneers, bridges, etc.
- A wide variety of contact and non-contact sports (sportguards)
A nightguard is a type of mouthguard that is commonly used for the prevention and treatment of bruxism. Bruxism is a condition characterized by the grinding and/or clenching of teeth against each other. The cause of bruxism is not completely agreed upon, but daily stress and anxiety may be the trigger in many people. Bruxism is a quite common problem that affects about 40 million Americans, and this number keeps growing year after year.
People can grind and clench their teeth without being aware of it during both day and night, although sleep-related bruxism is often a bigger problem because it is harder to control.
Many people with sleep bruxism can be completely unaware of it for a long time or until complications develop, so it’s especially important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism to be able to recognize the problem in it’s early stages. Bruxism can wear down and destroy your teeth!
Patients suffering from bruxism may exhibit a variety of signs and symptoms, including:
- Flattened or eroded chewing (biting) surfaces of the teeth
- Increased tooth sensitivity and higher risk of tooth decay
- Damaged teeth, including fractures, chips, and cracks
- Broken dental fillings
- Injured gums
- Unexplained facial pain, earaches and morning headaches
- Jaw pain and tightness in your jaw muscles, which can be a sign of damage to the jaw joint
If you have noticed any of these symptoms, please, contact our office to make an appointment with Dr. Keselbrener as soon as possible to find out if you can benefit from a nightguard or mouthguard. Wearing a custom-made nightguard or mouthguard can physically reduce the pressure on your teeth, gums and jaw by eliminating or reducing grinding and clenching, protecting your teeth from it’s damaging forces.
A professional nightguard requires a full impression of the patient’s mouth and is custom-made in a dental laboratory using bio-compatible materials to ensure a perfect fit and optimum comfort.
Remember that the early detection of a dental problem is the key to successful treatment!