Night Guards to Protect Against Bruxism and TMJ
“Bruxism” means grinding and/or clenching of teeth. It is considered a nonfunctional habit of the jaw that can occur while awake or asleep. Grinding your teeth while asleep is more of a problem since most people will grind their teeth much harder than they ever would while awake. Such “Nocturnal Bruxism” is a very common sleep behavior th a many people will experience at some time in their lives. It often is more evident during times of personal stress.
A night guard is a thin piece of hard plastic made from impressions of your teeth placed on the upper or lower teeth. The nightguard is hard enough to be durable, but since it is softer than teeth it will protect them from wear. When the nightguard is tried in, it is adjusted to fit your bite evenly and smoothly.
Night time bruxism is often accompanied by pain in the jaw joint and/or muscles. A night guard is one of the most important steps in relieving this problem, also known as TMD (temporomandibular disorder). Even if you don’t feel any pain, wearing a night guard may aid in preventing the development of this painful condition and also protect the jaw joints from excessive pressure that could damage them.