Night Guards – Hype or Help?

For the fortunate ones, sleep is a  nightly ritual that leads to rested and refreshed mornings, though not everyone is so lucky. Many, for various reasons, find the time spent sleeping less than productive. Instead of waking up in the morning feeling fresh and revitalized, many experience a tenderness in their face or mouth, have headaches when they wake up, or endure sensitive jaw muscles and/or teeth. In many cases, these symptoms are a result of a night of grinding or clenching teeth.Did you know…
  1. Many people over the age of twenty-one (21) clench their teeth. Fewer people actually grind their teeth.
  2. Teeth grinding or clenching is not caused by stress, but it is aggravated by stress. An abnormal bite, one in which teeth do not fit together, may lead to grinding.
Occlusal guards, also commonly referred to as occlusal splints, bite splints, or night guards are customized orthotic devices that are designed to keep patients from clenching and grinding their teeth at night (bruxism), and helps to minimize the pain, damage and discomfort that come as a result. These mouth guards are removable dental appliances specially molded to fit the upper or lower arches of teeth.Overall, these mouth guards are used to protect tooth and restoration surfaces, manage mandibular (jaw) dysfunction TMD, stabilize the jaw joints during occlusion, or create space prior to restoration procedures. People prone to nocturnal bruxism, or nighttime clenching, routinely wear mouth guards at night.If you’re one of those who experience soreness in the shoulder and neck area, or wake up with a headache many mornings, you could be suffering from teeth clenching or grinding. Suffer no more! Learn how you can help alleviate this pain at your next appointment. Ask Dr. Leardi or one of our knowledgeable dental technicians.Find out more about bruxism at our office.  

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