An occlusal guard, also referred to as a Night Guard, is used to prevent the bruxism of teeth. Bruxism is the clenching of jaw and grinding of the teeth primarily occurring at night. Because the jaw puts an extreme amount of pressure per square inch on the teeth, grinding and clenching the jaw at night can result in damage to the teeth and painful symptoms of TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder.
Custom-fitted occlusal guards provide patients with better bruxism relief without the discomfort of ill-fitting plastic or metal parts that are one-size-fits- all. Occlusal guards can prevent jaw strain, fatigue, pain, and the chipping or breaking of teeth.
Despite the similarity in names, you should not confuse a sports mouth guard with the one designed for preventing teeth grinding and clenching. A sports mouth guard will do more harm than good. It covers the teeth and gums as it is meant to protect them from blunt force trauma. If worn at night, it traps bacteria on the gum’s surface while you sleep since saliva can’t get to the gums while wearing a sports mouth guard.
Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, stopping smoking, and relaxation techniques can also help reduce grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw.
A night guard can protect your smile against costly and painful consequences of not wearing one. The investment leads to more positive health outcomes down the line. The scan for a Night Guard is preformed with our intraoral scanner.