Bruxism is a condition that affects many adult Americans. The condition, which is characterized by clenching and grinding of the teeth, can impact the smile dramatically. For patients who clench and grind during their sleep, a night guard can be used. This is a special mouth guard for sleeping that covers the upper and lower teeth. In doing so, the appliance reduces the forces that occur with clenching and grinding while protecting the teeth and dental restorations.
Bruxism can create several different problems for patients. First and foremost, it can cause breakage of natural tooth enamel and dental restorations. The grinding can also wear down the teeth and cause misshaped teeth or sensitivity as the tooth enamel becomes thinner and more susceptible to damage. Patients with this condition might also experience a coexisting problem such as temporomandibular joint disorder. This condition, also referred to as TMD, is a malfunction of the jaw joint that hinges the jaw open and closed. The joint, called the TMJ or temporomandibular joint, may contribute to problems such as bruxism and may also cause:
When this condition coexists, it can create added problems for patients. Luckily, mouth guards can also help for TMD and can control the symptoms of bruxism at the same time.
To obtain a dental guard, it is best for patients to speak to their dentist about solutions. The mouth guards are created using impressions of the smile to ensure proper fit and function. Patients who have mouth guards for sleeping are encouraged to bring them to their dental appointments to be evaluated and to make any adjustments if needed.
If you live in or around Kirkland, WA and are interested in discussing the possibility of protecting your smile with mouth guards, contact our facility by calling (425) 385-0080. Dr. Ann Kelley and her team welcome new and current patients and families into the practice for comprehensive dental care solutions in preventative, general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry.
What Our Patients Say