Night Guards

Night Guards in Wilmington, NC 

We all clench or grind our teeth from time to time. However, if you’re frequently waking up with a sore jaw, neck, or tooth pain from clenching or grinding your teeth more than normal, you may have bruxism. Fortunately, bruxism can easily be treated with a custom night guard, molded perfectly to your jaw to protect your teeth from grinding

Night Guards in Wilmington, NC

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What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition in which you grind or clench your teeth. Often people are unaware that they’re clenching or grinding their teeth because it mostly occurs at night when they are not conscious of their habits.

It’s not always clear what causes bruxism, but it’s often linked to stress and anxiety, teeth that aren’t aligned properly, sleep problems like snoring and sleep apnea, taking certain medicines like antidepressants, medical conditions like hyperactivity or cerebral palsy, and smoking or drinking too much alcohol and caffeine.

Signs of teeth grinding include: 

  •     Interrupted sleep
  •     Tooth pain or sensitivity 
  •     Sleep partner complains about the noise 
  •     Waking up with jaw, ear, or headache pain
  •     Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
  •     Pain that feels like an earache but isn’t
  •     Dull headache starting in the temples

What’s Occlusal Guard?

Occlusal guard, also known as a night guard or mouthguard, is a dental appliance that fits over your upper or lower teeth to protect them from the effects of bruxism. 

While occlusal guards don’t necessarily stop you from grinding or clenching, they serve as a cushion, protecting the tooth surfaces from grinding against each other. It also encourages the jaw muscles to relax, releasing tension and reducing jaw muscle soreness. 

There are several types of nightguards, but the most effective ones are custom-made since they’re fitted precisely to your teeth and bite. Impressions and molds of your teeth are taken, then sent to the lab where your custom mouthguard is fabricated. After that, all the necessary adjustments are made to ensure proper fit and function.

Benefits of Custom Mouth Guards

Benefits of custom mouthguards for bruxism include:

  • Nightguards can help save your enamel: Long-term teeth grinding and clenching will eventually result in the wearing down of the protective enamel, which doesn’t come back when destroyed. Worn down enamel puts you at risk of cavities, extreme sensitivity, fracturing, and damage to existing teeth restorations, among other oral health problems. 
  • Protects against Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ): This condition affects the jaw joints, the surrounding muscles, and ligaments. Jaw and facial pain, difficulty chewing, clicking, and locking of the jaw joint are some of the symptoms of TMJ. Bruxism is one of the causes of TMJ, and using a nightguard can help prevent it or alleviate the symptoms. 
  • Reduces headaches, pain, and tension: Teeth grinding and clenching puts a lot of pressure on your jaw, surrounding muscles, teeth, and joints, resulting in chronic headaches and neck pain. Wearing a custom nightguard can help alleviate the tension, and you’ll have less frequent temporal headaches and associated neck pain.  
  • Help improve sleep: Not only are bruxism symptoms unpleasant when you wake up in the morning, but they can keep you or anyone sharing your room awake at night, especially if your grinding is loud. Custom mouthguards help prevent tooth grinding and alleviate other bruxism symptoms, significantly improving your sleep quality. 
Occlusal Guard

Why Would Somebody Wear a Nightguard? 

Without a nightguard, bruxism can result in:

  •     Broken, fractured, or loose teeth
  •     A leveling or flattening of the teeth
  •     Pain in the jaw, face, and head
  •     Worn tooth enamel
  •     TMJ – without intervention, people with TMJ disorders can suffer from lockjaw or jaw joint pain.

Occlusal Guard Cost

The cost of an occlusal guard varies, but it’s often covered by dental insurance. 

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

If you wake up with a headache or jaw pain even after a full night of sleep, you might be grinding your teeth in your sleep, and a custom nightguard from Mayfaire Family Dentistry can help alleviate your symptoms and protect you from further damage caused by long term teeth grinding. Our custom nightguards are designed specifically for you to ensure maximum comfort. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!