Our experts at Modern Family Dental help patients from throughout the San Francisco, CA, area avoid the damage caused by chronic grinding (bruxism) and clenching habits by offering comfortable, state-of-the-art, custom-made night guards to provide a durable cushion designed to protect the tooth surface and structure.
What is a night guard?
A night guard is an oral device that’s worn in your mouth at night while you sleep to help prevent the damage that can occur in people who clench or grind their teeth. Over time, both clenching and grinding (also called bruxism) can cause significant wear and tear on tooth surfaces, resulting in an increased risk of decay and even contributing to an increased risk of tooth loss. Plus, chronic grinding and clenching habits can leave you with persistent jaw pain and headaches. Night guards provide a cushion between your teeth, protecting tooth surfaces and reducing the strain on jaw muscles to prevent symptoms from developing.
What kinds of damage can grinding and clenching your teeth cause?
Over time and without treatment, grinding and clenching your teeth can cause a substantial amount of damage, including:
- Worn enamel and uneven or damaged tooth surfaces
- Cracks and tiny fissures that can allow bacteria to enter
- Chipped teeth
- Loose fillings
- Damaged crowns and inlays
- Loose or weak tooth roots
- Tooth loss
- Tempomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
- Jaw pain and headaches
- The risk of these dangers increases dramatically the longer you go without proper treatment.
How is a night guard made?
At our practice, we use very precise measurements and fittings to help ensure the most comfortable custom fit. Your fitting begins with measurements and impressions, which are sent to a lab that specializes in custom night guards. Once your guard is made, we’ll perform the final fitting in our office so we can make adjustments to ensure it fits comfortably and doesn’t interfere with your sleep.
How can I tell if I have a clenching or grinding problem?
Sometimes, a partner can actually hear you grinding your teeth, and sometimes, symptoms like those listed above will provide clues. Plus, your dentist will be able to spot telltale signs during a routine exam.