A night-guard (nighttime appliance) or a day-guard (daytime appliance) is a custom designed dental appliance that is designed to protect your teeth from the damaging effects of clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism). Bruxism is the condition that causes many issues located around the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). These issues are referred to as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). Any time we are referring to signs, symptoms, dysfunction, or damage in the TMJ area, we are referring to a TMD. Our appliances look similar to mouthguards that athletes wear; however, they are very different in construction. Most have a hard, flat exterior and provide significant protection from heavy clenching and grinding forces. A custom designed bite appliance can protect teeth from the damage caused by clenching and grinding by covering the tooth surface. This protective layer of plastic stops the wearing of tooth structure, cracks and chipping, as well as wear and tear on the TMJ.
Most of our patients are not aware they have any clenching or grinding issues. Dr. Broome and his general dentistry team can recognize signs of bruxism such as wear, cracks, chipping, or fractures during their clinical exams. You will also be able to see these signs as well via digital photos of your teeth. Some common patient complaints are jaw, tooth or muscle pain, head and neck soreness, tenderness around the TMJ area and headaches. Cracks and breakage can usually be seen on the digital photos so you will be able to see what we see.
A night-guard may be necessary if you notice worn or flattened-looking teeth, receding gums, cracks in tooth enamel, temperature sensitivity, migraines, and even pain in the neck, ears, back, and shoulders. A day-guard is an excellent option for patients that find themselves clenching while at work or during periods of intense concentration. Clenching is a primary habit developed to cope with stress and tension. Oral appliances help to protect and distribute the pressure so tooth damage can be avoided.
To learn more about treatments for teeth grinding, please visit WebMD.com.
At Charlotte Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we utilize digital impressions to capture a high definition video of your teeth and transmit that information to our appliance lab, which will construct a custom appliance based on our design instructions that will safely and comfortably protect your teeth and jaw. In addition to creating a custom appliance, Dr. Broome and his team can also provide information and insight into how to reduce teeth grinding or alleviate TMJ pain by adjusting your diet, making lifestyle changes, or other at-home methods. Worn and damaged teeth can also be rebuilt. Check out our smile rejuvenation section to see examples of patients that elected to reverse the damages and rebuild their smile.
To learn more and schedule an appointment, please contact our office online or give us a call at (704) 815-6659 today!
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