A night guard is a plastic appliance that is worn while sleeping to alleviate stress on the teeth and jaw joint caused by clenching or grinding of teeth. Regular use of a night guard can relieve daily discomfort and prevent long-term damage to teeth and surrounding structures. Stress and muscle tension are the major contributing factors, leading many people to clench or grind unconsciously while sleeping.
The joint where the jaw meets the skull is called the temporal-mandibular joint (TMJ) Cartilage normally acts as a buffer to cushion this joint, but excess pressure can cause inflammation. This, in turn, can lead to headaches, earaches, difficulty or soreness when opening or closing the mouth, clicking or popping of the jaw and soreness extending to the face and neck.
The primary function of a well-made custom night guard is to balance the forces of the teeth and remove the stresses on the TMJ. There are many different designs and types of night guards. Your dentist at Dental Arts will assess your specific needs and design a night guard accordingly.
To create your night guard, impressions or a digital scan of your teeth will be taken which will then be sent to our lab. The completed night guard is usually back in our office in about a week. Your well-designed and properly-fitted night guard will provide comfort and protect your teeth and jaw from long-term damage.