Teeth can be damaged, even broken, when a person has a habit of grinding or clenching their teeth. When this happens during sleep, the person is usually not aware of it. (Since he is…asleep!) Another outcome might be pain in the jaw.
TMJ and TMD
The joint where the jaw meets the sides of the skull is called the temporomandibular joint (or TMJ). Teeth grinding and clenching, especially with great force, can stress this joint. A disorder in this joint is referred to as a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (or TMD) and might include also problems with the muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and other tissues associated with the joint.
Some people with jaw pain, headaches, or clicking noises in their temporomandibular joint have experienced improvement after using a dental appliance called a night guard, which is meant to prevent tooth grinding and clenching.
The Night Guard
Night guard appliances are made in different styles. Basically, they prevent the teeth from contacting each other, so that grinding and clenching is not possible. It doesn’t take much to prevent this contact, and some of the devices are very simple and inexpensive. It’s an elegant solution to what could turn into a serious injury.
How it is Made
Dr. Ammari will make impressions of your upper and lower teeth and send them to a dental laboratory, who will then proceed to make the customized device.
On your second visit, the night guard will be fitted to you, and you will learn exactly how to use it.
Night Guard Care
To care for your night guard, simply brush it with a toothbrush and rinse thoroughly.
CAUTION: Some pets love to chew on them!