Occlusal Guards

By: Dr. Kevin Burgdorf, DDS  01/06/2015
Keywords: Mouth Guards, Mouthguards, Occlusal Guards

Do you wake up in the morning with jaw pain, neck aches, and even migraines? These are common symptoms of a condition called bruxism, which causes you to clench and grind your teeth. The damage done to your teeth (and your quality of life!) caused by grinding and clenching can be severe and lead to numerous complications including worn down and fractured teeth, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and chronic migraines. Dr. Burgdorf has extensive experience in treating bruxism and other conditions related to nighttime grinding and clenching with occlusal guards, often known as night guards. Unlike the bulky guards that are sold in drug stores, our night guards are small, fit comfortably, and are finely calibrated to each patient’s particular bite. The Dangers of Bruxism Bruxism can take a serious toll on your dental and overall health and wellbeing. While your teeth are strong and durable, they simply can’t handle the constant pressure created by a clenched jaw. As they grind against each other, they wear down. This action can create a range of problems, including: Shortened teeth Damage to the chewing surfaces Cracks in the enamel Fractures to your teeth Higher risk of decay Loose teeth Lost teeth And those are just the problems you experience in your mouth! Teeth grinding and the muscle tension that comes along with it also causes pain in the neck, jaw, and head. Over time, the pressure of grinding and clenching your teeth often leads to problems with the temporomandibular joint. Inflammation in the joint, known as TMJ or TMD, leads to neck and shoulder pain, ear pain, and locking of the joint. Place your fingers at your temples. Now close your mouth and hold your back teeth together. Feel the movement as the muscles in your temples clench? When your muscles are held in this locked position over a long period of time, the result can be chronic migraine. Many migraine sufferers who have tried everything to relieve their condition don’t even realize that the problem is actually with their teeth. The Night Guard Solution The night guards we use at our Bridgeton office are small, discreet, and fit comfortably while you sleep. We offer a range of devices and will work with you to carefully select the night guard that meets your needs, adjusting the fit so that it’s perfect for you. While each type of night guard has a slightly different fit, they are all designed to keep your back teeth separated so that they can’t touch when you bite down, protecting your teeth from the pressures of grinding. Additionally, this helps to keep the muscles that power your jaws lax, treating the problem of aches, pains, and migraines. If you grind or clench your teeth – or if you have any of the symptoms associated with bruxism – call our Bridgeton dental office today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Burgdorf.

Keywords: Mouth Guards, Mouthguards, Occlusal Guards

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