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Dr. Kevin Burgdorf, DDS
Bridgeton MO Dentist
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Occlusal Guards

How can we help you?

We believe deeply in the power of information and education. Not only do we take the time to discuss every procedure with our patients and teach you about your dental health, but we are also dedicated to constantly increasing our own knowledge through continuing education courses to stay on top of the latest techniques and improvements in the dental field. This allows us to consistently provide you with the state-of-the-art dentistry that you deserve.

Your questions are always welcome; don’t ever hesitate to ask us anything about your care, our practice, or dentistry in general! We’ve collected some of the most common questions we are asked, and you can check to see if your question is answered here.

If your question is not addressed here or if you’d like more information, just give us a call at 314-291-9000, or send us an email using our convenient online form and someone will quickly get back to you.
 

Occlusal Guards

Dentist Bridgeton MOShort, worn down teeth are the result of malocclusion, or a misalignment of the teeth when the jaws come together. They can also be the result of clenching and grinding, which usually occurs at night. In addition, premature loss of permanent teeth can increase the demand on the remaining teeth, resulting in worn, broken teeth.

In order to fix this problem, we need to address the cause first, and then we can restore your teeth to health. Worn, chipped teeth should not be considered the inevitable result of getting older. Something out of the ordinary is causing the changes, and the earlier we can intervene, the better.

Occlusal Guards Can Help

If grinding and clenching are the culprits behind your worn teeth, we can help by providing you with a customized occlusal guard to hold your jaws apart while you are sleeping to prevent further wear and tear.

If worn teeth are already a significant problem for you, we can discuss other restorative treatment options, which may include crowns, dental bonding, or veneers depending on the location and condition of your teeth.

Call us today to schedule your examination and consultation so that we can determine the best way to help you.
 

TMJ Treatment Bridgeton MOOcclusal guards, also known as night guards, can be used to treat a range of dental and health conditions depending on the style of the guard.

One common use for occlusal guards is the treatment of bruxism, or clenching and grinding of the teeth. Different styles may be used to achieve relief with some pulling your jaw forward slightly so that your back teeth don’t touch, and others fitting between your teeth to keep the surfaces from touching. Both types protect your teeth from the damage caused by clenching and grinding and relieve the tension on your jaw muscles.

The Dangers Of TMJ

Clenching and grinding may lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), a condition affecting the joint where your lower jaw meets your skull. The appliance relieves tension on the joint, reducing inflammation and pain.

Both bruxism and TMJ can also be triggers for migraines, so wearing an occlusal guard can also provide relief from this chronic and painful type of headache, reducing both the frequency and intensity.

At Dr. Burgdorf’s Bridgeton dental office, we provide customized occlusal guards, made to fit your mouth and treat your condition. Call us to schedule your evaluation today and get the relief you deserve.
 

woman holding jaw in pain | TMJ Dentist Bridgeton MOBruxism is the medical term for a condition that causes people to grind and clench their teeth – particularly while they sleep. While some people think that bruxism is not much of a concern, the truth is that if it is left untreated, it can do a great deal of damage to your teeth and affect your health in other ways, as well.

The force created by bruxism is known to quickly erode teeth. This can cause your teeth to look too short and can strip away the enamel that protects the dentin of your teeth, leading to pain and an increased risk of cavities. Sometimes, people grind hard enough to fracture teeth, which may require restorative treatment to fix or even extraction and replacement. The costs can quickly add up.

Bruxism has also been identified as a migraine trigger in some people because it causes strain in the muscles of the temples, which irritates the nerves. It’s also a common trigger for temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ. This condition causes pain in the jaws, neck, and shoulders as well as other issues.

Treating Bruxism in Bridgeton

Treatment is often as simple as wearing an occlusal guard while you are sleeping. The guard prevents your back teeth from touching so that you physically cannot grind and clench your teeth.

Call our office today to schedule a bruxism evaluation with our dentist.
 

TMJ Treatment Bridgeton MOTMJ technically stands for the temporo-mandibular joint, the jaw joint located right in front of your ears on which your jaw rotates. TMJ may also refer to TMJ disorder, a condition in which the jaw joint becomes inflamed, causing you to experience pain, clicking, and/or popping. Often, this condition causes you to experience discomfort in the muscles associated with the jaw and face as well.

Common Factors Of TMJ

  • Chronic bruxism (grinding and clenching of your teeth)
  • Arthritis in the joint
  • A slipped disc in the joint
  • Damage to the joint caused by a sharp blow

It’s also possible to develop TMJ without a clear cause. More women than men have TMJ, which has led researchers to believe that there may also be a hormonal component to the condition.

Untreated, TMJ can cause pain and permanent damage to the jaw joint. The joint may stick or lock, causing your jaw to become stuck in a closed or an open position.

Finding TMJ Treatment in Bridgeton

TMJ can be treated using a number of different methods including hot and cold therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and surgery. Dr. Burgdorf can also prescribe an occlusal guard to be worn at night that reduces tension on the joint, leading to less discomfort and more flexibility.
 

man holding mouthguard | Occlusal Guards Bridgeton MOWhen we recommend an occlusal guard for bruxism or temporomandibular joint disorder, many patients ask about the night guards and sports guards that they have seen for sale at drugstores. While these may be a solution in a pinch, we don’t recommend them in the long term for several reasons.

Properly Fitting Night Guard

Our occlusal guards are carefully customized to fit your mouth. This is important because not only will the guard be comfortable when you are wearing it, you won’t have to worry about it causing your teeth to change position. An improperly fitted nightguard will put pressure on your teeth, and over time, cause them to shift. It’s the same principle that makes Invisalign so effective, except in this case, it’s working against you!

Additionally, we know exactly which type of condition we are trying to treat, and we are careful to choose a guard that will work the best for you. Nightguards for sleep apnea are not the same as guards for bruxism, and we want to make sure that the guard you are using will effectively treat your problem.

Reach Out To Your Bridgeton Dentist

Call our office to schedule a consultation to discuss occlusal guards. Bridgeton dentist Dr. Kevin Burgdorf takes your health seriously and will provide an appropriate recommendation.

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