There are a surprising number of ways you can damage your teeth. Between simple accidents and contact sports, chips, breaks and cracks are all too common. This can even happen when we are unaware of it. Bruxism, or the unconscious grinding of teeth, usually happens at night when we are asleep! Luckily, there are ways to shield your teeth, and here at Perfect Choice Dental we have the latest models of mouthguards and nightguards for instant protection.
Custom-designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic, and are molded to fit the shape of your teeth. While they may seem indistinguishable, there is a notable difference in their shape and size. A traditional mouthguard is fairly bulky and covers a portion of the gums to provide full support against impact for both the tooth and its root. Nightguards are smaller and slimmer. Their purpose is to alleviate clenching and grinding during rest.
Neither mouthguards nor nightguards are meant to be worn outside of their intended usage time. Your teeth naturally rest on each other and continually wearing either can cause your alignment to shift.
If you play contact sports or experience pain with your mouth, teeth or jaw, please contact us. After an initial consultation to determine whether a mouthguard or nightguard is the right treatment, we will take an impression of your teeth which will be used to create a guard specifically catered to your needs and your mouth. The flexible plastic does not wear down and will last up to ten years.
With any mouthguard that we provide, the plastic is there to absorb shock and impact, preventing your jaw or teeth from taking the brunt of the collision. It can also prevent your teeth from ramming into each other, averting chips or cracks to the enamel.
The purpose of a nightguard is more intricate. It’s most evident role is to prevent teeth grinding and enamel deterioration. Since it alleviates bruxism, the plastic design will relax the jaw during rest, which in turn reduces muscle spasms and eases the tension that causes headaches. The spacing also prevents lockjaw and allows the muscles to align and rest in their proper position.
Nightguards and mouthguards are not the solution to your problem if you suffer from bruxism or other jaw related problems. While they alleviate the problem, they do not deal with the underlying issue. In most instances, jaw dysfunction or disorder is specifically related to the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. This joint is the hinge between the jaw and the head, and injuries to either can cause problems. Trauma, misalignment of the teeth, or excess muscle tension all have an effect on the TMJ. The two bones that meet at the jaw are buffered by cartilage and five different muscles, so the TMJ can cause a variety of problems.
Common symptoms of TMJ disorder are:
Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, and more. Nightguards can mitigate the problem, but are a temporary measure. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Consult with your dentist to find the best treatment for your unique case.
If you suffer from bruxism, or are worried about damaging your teeth during contact sports, call Perfect Choice Dental today! Dr. Brian Overmyer understands the intricacies of TMJ disorders and can help outline and implement a treatment plan.
Call us at (815) 477-3700 today! If you’re in Crystal Lake, stop by our offices 284-A Memorial Court, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. We’d love to help you make the perfect choice for your smile.