Both clenching and grinding are prevalent subconscious functions that are associated with sleep motion disorder. They usually occur at night while asleep. Clenching is the motion of biting down very hard, and grinding is the action of biting down very hard and rubbing the teeth back and forth. Both of these conditions can cause damage to the teeth as well as problems with the mouth and jaw.
A night guard is a type of mouthguard used to wear at night to protect the teeth and jaw from the forces of clenching and grinding. There are several different types of night guards made from several various forms of plastic, and they can either go on the top teeth or the bottom, depending on the type. The nightguard takes the jaw’s forces away from the teeth and acts as a cushion, dispersing the pressure throughout the guard.
A night guard is made by first taking an impression of your teeth (top and bottom) to get a replica of your teeth and mouth. The impressions will be sent to a lab to create the night guard based on your impressions to fit precisely to your teeth. You will return to see your dentist about a week later, and the night guard will be tried in. If necessary, it will be adjusted to make sure it fits just right.
If you believe you may be clenching or grinding at night or have any questions about night guards, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.