Mouthguards and Snoreguards
Custom Night Guards
Did you know that grinding can exert more than 250 pounds of pressure on your teeth? The human mandible is incredibly powerful! Your teeth, however, aren’t made to withstand the constant abrasion and force of grinding. Eventually, they’ll suffer the consequences.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the medical term for clenching, gnashing, or grinding your teeth without being aware of it. For most people, this occurs at night while you’re sleeping.
The negative consequences of bruxism are numerous:
- Loss of enamel: Constant grinding will remove layers of your enamel, making your teeth more sensitive and more susceptible to tooth decay. Flattened tooth surfaces are an obvious sign of bruxism.
- Discoloration and yellowing: By wearing down the enamel, grinding exposes the darker-colored dentin, making your teeth look yellow.
- Fractures: Teeth under the unrelenting pressure of grinding can end up cracked, fractured, or broken, requiring restoration or even extraction.
- Gum recession: The pressure from grinding can push your gums away from your teeth, causing irreversible recession. This type of recession can lead to decay as bacteria find their way into the spaces and remain there—eventually leading to bone loss.
- Sensitivity: Untreated gum recession will eventually expose the root part of your teeth, causing severe sensitivity.
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ): Grinding teeth puts a lot of pressure on the temporomandibular joint, which can lead to TMJ, joint pain, jaw clicking, popping, difficulty chewing, and headaches.
- Sleep Problems: Biting your tongue or cheek, which is incredibly painful (and can create ongoing trauma to your oral tissue), is a known side effect of bruxism as is waking up periodically during the night (sleep disruption). Serious health issues related to sleep disturbances are well documented.
Do You Have Bruxism?
If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you probably have a form of bruxism that we can treat with a custom-made night guard.
- Have you been told your grind your teeth in your sleep? The sound may be loud enough to wake up others.
- Are your teeth flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose?
- Is your enamel worn and deeper layers of your teeth exposed?
- Do you have increasing or ongoing tooth sensitivity or pain?
- Are your jaw muscles tired or tight?
- Does your jaw ever “lock up,” making it difficult to open or close completely?
- Do you have ongoing jaw, neck, or face pain or soreness?
- Do you have pain that feels like an earache but has been determined not to be originating from your ear canal?
- Do you suffer from dull headaches that start in your temples?
- Do you find yourself unexpectedly biting your cheek or tongue?
- Is your sleep disrupted?
What Causes Bruxism?
Every person is unique but there are several common causes of teeth grinding:
- Stress or anxiety
- An abnormal bite
- Crooked or misaligned teeth
- Missing teeth
- Certain medications
- Sleep apnea
Custom Night Guards for Bruxism
One of the most recommended treatments for patients who grind their teeth is a custom night guard.
A night guard is a removable, form-fitting appliance worn while sleeping that creates a physical barrier to help protect your teeth from the damage caused by grinding and clenching. A custom night guard can also help keep your mouth in a comfortable position and limit your ability to move your jaw around during sleep.
The process we use to make a night guard is precise and will be customized to fit your mouth and teeth for true comfort and proper function.
- We take an exact digital impression of your top and bottom teeth to create a model of your opposing teeth. We also take a “bite registration” which shows how your upper and lower teeth come together. These digital components then go to our dental lab.
- Our lab will fabricate your night guard using a type of acrylic shaped around the digital model we send to form a perfect-fitting protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth.
- Once your night guard is made, the lab will use the model to check how the night guard fits and how the teeth come together and make any necessary fine adjustments.
- When we deliver your new night guard, we’ll check the fit and comfort, make any needed adjustments, and show you how to insert and remove your appliance.
A custom-made night guard is typically worn on the upper arch only. For supreme comfort, it will have firm acrylic on the outside and a softer lining on the inside where your teeth touch.
With proper care, you can expect your professionally made night guard to last up to ten years.
Please click on the following link for instructions on using and caring for your night guard:
Custom Night Guard Home Care
We also make custom athletic mouth guards. Ask us if you need one!
Snoring is more than just a nuisance to those around you; habitual snoring can lead to health problems, including a serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. (If you think you have obstructive sleep apnea, we encourage you to consult with a medical professional who specializes in sleep disorders.)
For night-time snoring and mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea, we can fit you with a custom snore guard to help you—and others around you—get the sleep you—and they—deserve and need.
A snore guard looks similar to a night guard but is actually a two-piece appliance worn on both your upper and lower arches.
The design allows your lower jaw to maintain a comfortable forward position, which helps prevent your breathing passageways from becoming blocked so that you can sleep comfortably and quietly.
A custom snore guard can also help with bruxism by preventing your teeth from coming together while you sleep.
If you have a snoring problem, please call us. And if you have friends or loved ones who could benefit from a custom snore guard, please have them call us as well.
A good night’s sleep is critical to your oral health and overall health, well-being, and happiness. We’re here to help!