WHAT IS A NIGHT GUARD?
Do you often wake up with a dull headache or a sore jaw? Do you sometimes find yourself clenching your teeth? Until you experience pain or have a dental checkup, you may not realize that you have a condition called “bruxism,” a habit of grinding or clenching the teeth.
Many people are unaware that they grind their teeth because they do it while they sleep. Bruxism often occurs in the early part of the night and can disturb sleep partners. The clenching and grinding may be quite audible. Others make no sound while bruxing their teeth and do not realize they are doing it until the dentist discovers unusual wear spots on their teeth. Bruxism may be mild and occasional, or aggressive and frequent.
People who grind or clench their teeth may wake with a headache, ear-ache or toothache. Their facial muscles may be sore and the jaw joints tender. Besides causing discomfort, grinding can eventually damage dental restorations and may loosen teeth. Bruxism also can cause damage to the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the joints on each side of the mouth that connect the lower jaw to the skull. The pressure from clenching and grinding can cause cracks or fractures in the teeth. As the tooth enamel is worn away, the underlying layer of dentin may be exposed. This causes the tooth to become sensitive to temperature changes and pressure.
Bruxism can develop at any age. Pain or discomfort from colds, ear infections, allergies and other ailments may cause children to grind their teeth.
Although the causes of bruxism are not really known, several factors may be involved. Stress and anxiety, problems in sleeping, an abnormal bite, smoking, excessive use of caffeine or alcohol, and crooked or missing teeth may contribute.
There is currently no cure for bruxing but it can be controlled. Your dentist may recommend a Night Guard to protect your teeth. A Night Guard is a plastic cover that fits over your teeth to deflect the hard forces of chewing. Night Guards will also increase the longevity of your dental work.
Night Guard Treatment
During the first visit your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This impression is used to fabricate a custom-fit night guard. On your second visit your dentist will show you have to place it into your mouth and will adjust it to your bite.
If you have any further questions about Night Guard, or would like to learn more about our services, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at (253) 475-7125. We would be more than happy to help you in any way we can.
Mon: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 7:00 am - 1:00 pm
Fri: By Appointment
Sat & Sun: Closed
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Duke N. Bui, DDS, PS
5631 Tacoma Mall Blvd
Tacoma, WA 98409
Proudly providing dental services in the cities of Tacoma, Fircrest, University Place, Lakewood, Gig Harbor, Ruston, Fife, Edgewood, Parkland, Puyallup, Dupont, Lacey & Olympia