Night guards

What are night guards and what are they used for?

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Night Guards are custom fabricated appliances which are used to prevent nocturnal teeth grinding in patients. Teeth grinding damages teeth through a process called abrasion which gradually damages the enamel, thus exposing the dentin and causing pain as well as sensitivity. The dental aesthetic value also gets compromised as a result because the teeth visually appear shorter than what they were before.

What are TMJ problems and how are they related to teeth grinding?

Excessive habitual nocturnal teeth grinding exerts a lot of pressure on the joint that connect the upper and lower jaws, known as the Temporo-Mandibular Joint. Night time grinders often complain of pain near their ears which indicates TMJ problems. Inflammation of the joint can restrict masticatory movements and cause a great deal of discomfort, which is why it is critical to address the underlying issue. In this way, night guards can also ensure optimal health and functionality of the Temporo-Mandibular Joint.

How are night guards made, and how are they used?

Night guards are fabricated at dental laboratories using an impression of the patient’s upper and lower dental arches. It is a hard acrylic tray that snugly fits to the upper teeth without causing any discomfort of breathing restrictions.

Learn more about the TMJ, and the various risks that nocturnal teeth grinding poses to your oral health. If you require a good quality night guard to ensure excellent health of your teeth, book an appointment with the team of specialists at South Austin Dental today!