What is a Night guard?
Some people clench and grind their teeth when they are asleep, or even during the day. The majority are generally unaware that they are doing this. This habit can cause significant damage to the teeth and jaws. Teeth can become heavily worn over time, broken or cracked; and both the teeth and jaws can present with acute or chronic pain.
A night guard places a soft cushion between the upper and lower teeth, preventing them from grinding against each other. It reduces your risk of tooth wear and potential future dental complications.
Your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the joint that allows movements of your upper and lower jaws relative to each other. Bruxism (teeth grinding) and clenching can lead to overactive muscle tension in the TMJ, causing headaches, pain through the neck and shoulders, or painful TMJs. Symptoms include popping and clicking of the jaw joints upon opening or closing, or pain in the joint.
A custom fitted night guard can stop the habitual grinding and clenching and alleviate symptoms.