The last few years the economy has caused an unprecedented amount of stress in people’s lives. I know, because as a dentist the effects of stress can be manifested by clenching and grinding of the teeth. We have seen an increase in TMJ Problems, fractured teeth, and an abnormal amount of wear of people’s teeth recently.
The term we use in dentistry is Bruxism. Dentists define this as any daytime or night time parafunctional activity including clenching, bracing, gnashing, and grinding of teeth that can lead to physical trauma.
The effects of Bruxism if left untreated can be significant. Tooth loss, fractured teeth, muscle spasms, headaches, Tempromandibular Joint damage, hearing issues, and pain.
One of the simplest solutions to prevent these problems for large percentages of people is an Occlusal Orthotic, better known as an Occlusal Night Guard. Occlusal Night Guards protect teeth from bruxism, clenching and parafunctional habits.
The benefits of an Occlusal Night Guard are multiple.
- Protects the TMJ joint from damage.
- Protects the teeth and crowns from wear and fracture.
- Helps relax the Facial and Chewing Muscles
- It acts as a retainer by keeping the teeth in the proper position
- In most cases relieves TMJ pain
If the TMJ Joint has significant damage or pathology, an Occlusal Night Guard may not be the solution. A qualified dentist will be essential in treating these complex conditions.
Ask your dentist if an Occlusal Night Guard is right for you. It is a simple solution for people who grind and clench their teeth. In our office we make both a daytime and night time Guards, especially for people who have stressful daytime jobs and clench during the day. Recent studies have shown that daytime grinding and clenching can cause as much damage as night time activity.