Do you grind your teeth? Clench them? Have migraines?
Does the jaw joint just below your ear (your temporomandibular joint) pop, click, or grate? Do you deal with shooting pains in your neck and shoulder? Does your jaw constantly ache?
These are all examples of conditions and symptoms that can be treated using an occlusal guard (often known as a night guard).
What Causes These Conditions?
If you clench and grind your teeth, you may have a condition known as bruxism. For some people, stress can lead to bruxism; for others, a jaw misalignment (called a malocclusion) causes the uncomfortable clenching and grinding. In time, the force of your jaws clenching and grinding together can lead to chipped or cracked teeth, and your teeth may even eventually become loose and fall out. We know that nobody wants to lose their teeth.
Left untreated, bruxism can be the starting point for a number of other conditions. For instance, migraines are linked to untreated clenching and grinding. If you suffer from migraines and feel like you’ve tried everything under the sun, it may be time to consider visiting a dentist.
Bruxism is also a known contributor to the condition known as TMJ or TMD, which stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction. This causes inflammation and irritation in the temporomandibular joint where your lower jaw connects to your skull. TMJ/TMD is quite painful and can even cause the joint to lock or get stuck.
How Can These Conditions Be Treated?
Worn while you sleep, the guards come in different types and work in different ways. Some are designed to prevent your teeth from fully coming together, preventing the pressure and strain on your muscles and teeth, while others fit between your teeth, taking the pressure that would have instead damaged your teeth.
At Dr. Burgdorf’s Bridgeton dental office, we treat patients with these problems using custom night guards made using an actual impression of your mouth. Unlike the guards that can be found in a drug store, the guard you receive will actually be made specifically to fit your mouth, and we’ll choose the best one to treat your problem.
Call to Schedule an Evaluation
If you have the signs or symptoms of bruxism or TMJ – jaw pain, eroding or worn down teeth, chipped or fractured teeth, ear pain, neck and shoulder pain, migraine headaches, or pops and clicks in your temporomandibular joint – please call our office today to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Burgdorf and find out if an occlusal guard may provide you with the relief you’ve been seeking.