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Night Guards

Chronic jaw clenching and grinding one’s teeth is called bruxism. While it can happen any time of day, it often occurs at night, causing an individual to wake up with any number of symptoms, including jaw pain, headaches, and sore teeth that may feel loose. Although stress and anxiety are the most common causes of bruxism, there may be other contributing factors such as a sleep disorder, an abnormal bite, and missing or poorly aligned teeth.

To alleviate the symptoms of bruxism, wearing a nightguard while sleeping is frequently recommended. This appliance is designed to fit over the teeth and to keep the jaws slightly apart. Wearing a nightguard prevents several damaging events, including muscle strain, excessive pressure on the jaw joint (the TMJ), and dental damage as chipped or cracked teeth resulting from the teeth grinding against each other.

In addition to preventing damage to the soft and hard tissues surrounding the orofacial cavity, a custom night guard fabricated at the dental office can help curb a bruxism habit and give the wearer a better night’s sleep.

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