Dental Night guards are an important part of your preventative oral health for those patients that clench or grind their teeth. Bruxism, clenching and grinding, can cause severe damage to your teeth or gums. This damage can result in the need for dental crowns to help support a cracked or chipped tooth, possibly losing a tooth due to a severe crack, or gum grafting to replace missing gum tissue.
While most people have awareness of a night time habit like sore jaw muscles or jaw joint, joint popping or clicking (TMJ issues), or tooth sensitivity, sometimes only a dentist can diagnose the habit from the wear patterns on your teeth or patterns of gum recession. A night guard worn while you sleep can prevent a majority of the damage caused by a night time clenching or grinding habit.
Once Dr. Grace and Dr. Nehchiri determine the need for a night guard, impressions are taken of your teeth and a laboratory fabricates the appliance in a few weeks. You will return to the office for a brief visit to adjust the night guard and to receive instructions on how to use the guard. Most patients are able to wear the night guard every night after a short period of time.
For patients with severe TMJ issues that do not improve with a night guard, we may refer you to a TMJ specialist for evaluation and treatment.
Sports guards are meant to protect your teeth and jaw during active sports. They cushion the impact from trauma that can chip a tooth, result in a broken jaw, or cuts to your lips, tongue, or cheeks. We fabricate custom made sportsguards using molds of your teeth. They come in a variety of colors to fit your needs.
They differ from nightguards in the design and thickness of the plastic and can be made to attach to helmets. Talk to Dr. Grace and Dr. Nehchiri about the benefits of a custom sportsguard versus a traditional store bought variety.