Most people clench or grind their teeth at night, and are entirely unaware that they do this. Habitual teeth grinding is known as Bruxism. The excessive force from clenching and grinding teeth can cause them to flatten. If left untreated, this can potentially lead to temperature sensitivity, broken/damaged teeth, receding gums, pain in the back, ears, jaw and neck, and even eventually lost teeth.
Bruxism is also a leading cause of TMJ Disorder. The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the joints and muscles that make it possible for us to open and close our mouths. Any problem preventing this complex system of ligaments, muscles, discs, and bones from working properly can result in a painful TMJ Disorder.
During your dental exam, we check for signs of Bruxism and TMJ Disorder. We examine your teeth for wear and tear, and your jaw muscles and joints for clicking, popping, tenderness, and difficulty moving. Unfortunately, there is no "cure" from Bruxism. Research has shown that the most effective treatment to date is wearing a night guard to bed.
Over the counter/store bought night guards just don't do the trick. They are typically too bulky and ill fitted, which makes sleep uncomfortable and could also obstruct your breathing. A custom-made dental night guard offers the best protection. We take impressions of your teeth and then make a custom night guard right in our office!