Does your jaw feel stiff or sore? Do you have difficulty opening your mouth wide? Are your teeth sensitive to cold drinks? Do your jaw muscles feel tired in the morning? Do you suffer from headaches, neck pain, ear pain, jaw joint clicking and/or popping?
Some patients react to stress by involuntarily clenching or grinding their teeth during the day or more commonly, at night while sleeping. This is a medical condition called bruxism.
Causes of Bruxism
Causes vary, but may include stress, anxiety, tension, misaligned teeth, posture, diet, sleeping habits, and other factors. Bruxism is most prevalent in women and generally found in about one-third of the population.
Individuals who react to stress with anger, pain, frustration, aggression, or competition are most commonly affected. People with bruxism may have other biting habits, such as biting fingernails, pencils, lips, or the insides of their cheeks.
Bruxism left untreated may lead to insomnia, eating disorders, and depression.
Protective Nightguards Preserve Tooth Enamel
During sleep your biting pressure can be up to six times greater than during eating and waking hours. This can result in cracked and broken teeth, loosening of fillings and potential loss of tooth enamel. It may also contribute to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, which is often associated with pain in the head and neck.
Dental Nightguards are Customized to You
Protective nightguards are horse-shoe shaped and cover the biting surfaces of either your upper or lower teeth. After Dr. Best has made a simple impression of your upper and lower teeth a qualified laboratory fabricates your customized nightguard from a variety of acrylics appropriate for your individual situation. Patients react differently to the various styles. If one appliance does not work, another may.