Clenching or grinding your teeth can lead to severe tooth, jaw or facial muscle pain and tension headaches. Night guards are sometimes an effective solution to decreasing or minimizing such pain. Night guards are a proactive step to protect your existing healthy teeth. They can offset the wearing down of your teeth and protect investments made in other dental restorations as well. Night guards are usually made from a clear piece of plastic looking material. It is a thin, custom-made removable device, to be worn over your lower or upper teeth as you sleep. It takes about a week to get used to wearing a night guard while you sleep because they can feel like a mouthful. Studies suggest those who grind and clench their teeth may experience up to 80 times the normal tooth wear per day compared to those who do not.
Over 50 million Americans annually have headaches so severe that they seek medical help. Most of these people state that their head pain is a disruptive force in their daily lives. It is possible these patients are suffering from neuromuscular problems associated with their Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint and all the associated muscles, nerves and ligaments. The dentist can provide a thorough examination and recommend which type of TMD treatment is needed for your condition. Night guards can alleviate the majority of TMJ pain.