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Night Guards


Have you been frequently waking up with a sore jaw, a headache or tooth pain? If so, you may have a condition called bruxism or teeth grinding. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), about 10 to 15 percent of adults suffer from bruxism. The good news is that you don’t have to put up with the symptoms of tooth grinding anymore. Our custom-made teeth night guards protect your teeth, allowing you to wake up feeling better than ever!


Bruxism Explained

Bruxism is a condition in which you grind or clench your teeth, especially during your sleep. Most people with Bruxism are likely to have other sleep disorders such as snoring or sleep apnea. Habitual teeth grinding and clenching can be damaging to your oral health.

The most effective remedy for bruxism is a mouthguard also known as a night guard, or a nocturnal bite plate. With clenching, your night guard reduces the amount of pressure exerted on the upper and lower jaw. With tooth grinding, the device helps by providing a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth, reducing the chance of tooth damage. A custom-made mouthguard is the most effective way to address the symptoms of bruxism.


Symptoms of Bruxism

It’s hard to know if you have bruxism because you don’t realize that clenching and grinding take place while you are asleep. There are signs that you may be suffering from this condition. A chipped tooth could be an indicator because the pressure you put on your teeth can cause the chipping. Some patients with bruxism report waking up with a raging or a dull headache every morning.

Clenching is the tightening of jaws, exerting a force between the upper and lower teeth, and also straining the jaw muscles. The excessive pressure can result in headaches, earaches, and a painful jaw condition known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Teeth grinding is slightly different and involves the forceful rubbing of the upper and lower teeth repeatedly. It can weaken and wear down teeth, potentially causing tooth loss. As with clenching, grinding your teeth may also cause headaches and pain in your jaw.

What is a Night Guard?

A night guard is a custom-made dental device that is inserted into the mouth and covers the upper teeth. Your night guard should be comfortable and should never obstruct your breathing. The guard works to cushion your teeth, preventing them from grinding against one another.

We make your custom-fit night guards by taking a dental impression of your teeth. There is a significant difference between a custom-made appliance versus a stock type that you could purchase at a store. The problem with the store-bought version is that not everyone has the same mouth size. The only way to avoid having a bulky, uncomfortable night guard is to have us professionally make ones just for you!

Following are the types of night guards:

Soft night guard: We usually prescribe soft night guards for mild cases of bruxism, with a degree of grinding that is not too significant. In this case, the cushioning provided is all that is needed to protect and preserve tooth structure. Patients who suffer from clenching rather than grinding also benefit from soft night guards. The device serves to cushion some of the clenching force.

Dual laminate night guard: If your teeth grinding is more severe, this durable night guard is a better option. This mouthguard is soft on the inside and hard on the outside, giving you more protection.

Acrylic night guard: This is the most durable option, made from acrylic, a transparent, hard plastic material. If you suffer from heavy to severe teeth grinding, you will require an acrylic night guard.

Other Treatments for Teeth Grinding

In addition to your custom-made night guard, you may consider some possible treatments for bruxism. A dental checkup may reveal any problem that may result from or may be contributing to your tooth grinding. Some dental conditions such as cracked, crooked, or missing teeth can be treated using reconstructive dental procedures including dentures, bridges, overlays, or crowns. These treatments can reshape the chewing surface of your teeth, which may stop your grinding. Additionally, teeth straightening may help improve your condition. Teeth that are not aligned can contribute to teeth grinding. Our orthodontic treatments can correct your alignment, alleviating some of the symptoms.

One of the leading causes of bruxism is anxiety. Treating this condition may help you relax and stop clenching your jaws. In addition to seeking professional help, you may consider yoga, deep breathing, a massage, taking a bath before bed, listening to music, or meditation.

Sometimes dietary changes can help. Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine may reduce your teeth grinding. Tell us about any medications you are taking, because some may contribute to your bruxism, and an alternative drug may be a good solution.


Are You Ready for a Good Night’s Sleep?

If you or a member of your family suspect that you have bruxism, make sure to give us a call and come in for a consultation. Dr. Salvatore Storniolo, DDS will work with you to help treat and alleviate the effects of bruxism, and when needed, will fit you with a custom-made night guard using the most advanced technology available. We are here to help you manage your bruxism and enjoy healthy teeth for years to come!