If you often wake up with jaw pain, earaches, or headaches, or find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, you may have a common condition called bruxism.
Although the causes of bruxism are not really known, several factors may be involved. Stressful situations at home, school, or work, problems in sleeping, an abnormal bite, and crooked or missing teeth may contribute to bruxism. Many people do not even know they grind their teeth, since it often occurs when one is sleeping. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, damaged restorations, or even tooth loss.
There is an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism. Nightguards are an easy way to prevent the wear and damage that teeth grinding causes over time. Custom-made by our office from soft material to fit your teeth, a nightguard is inserted over your top or bottom arch and prevents contact with the opposing teeth.
Choosing the right mouthguard is essential. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made nightguard, the “boil-and-bite” nightguard, and a custom-made nightguard from our office. When you choose a nightguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly.
A nightguard created in our office will fit all these requirements, because it will be custom-made just for your teeth.
Your occlusal nightguard was custom-made for your teeth and can be adjusted to your personal comfort level.
A nightguard separates the teeth during grinding. This greatly decreases forces generated by your jaw muscles.
- It generally takes about two weeks for most people to become comfortable wearing their nightguards.
- Brush and floss your teeth prior to use (very important).
- Your guard should be worn every night or during naps if you find yourself bruxing during these periods.
- Removal of appliance is best accomplished by using equal pull on both sides.
- After wearing your nightguard, brush it with toothpaste and rinse well.
- Store the nightguard in water or damp paper towel in case. Do not let it dry out.
- Once a month, your occlusal guard should be soaked in a denture-cleaning solution or placed in white vinegar.
- Once a year, bring your guard with you to your cleaning appointment so we can evaluate the fit and the amount of wear to your occlusal guard.
- Occlusal guards sometimes have to be remade after three to five years of wear, depending on extent of wear.
- Do not use bleach, alcohol-based cleaners, or other harsh chemicals because they may alter clarity or damage strength.
- Heat distorts nightguards. Do not wash your guard in a dishwasher or very hot water. Do not boil.
- Keep your guard away from pets. Dogs love to chew nightguards!
Thank you for your cooperation and continued commitment to good oral health. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call.