Patients who deal with conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorder or teeth grinding may find that there are solutions to help reduce pain as well as wear on the natural teeth. Drs. Hammad Aziz and Stephanie Janes of North Aurora, IL, encourage these patients to ask their team about the benefits of night guards.
Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.
The pressure from clenching and grinding can cause cracks or fractures in the teeth. As the tooth enamel is worn away, the underlying layer of dentin may be exposed. This causes the tooth to become sensitive to temperature changes and pressure.
We can diagnose and determine the source of facial pain and treat irregular wear on teeth that may result from bruxism with a simple solution such as a night guard.
What is a night guard?
A night guard is a special oral appliance that is custom made for a patient. It fits comfortably in the mouth and is worn during sleeping to reduce tension in the jaw and protect the teeth from bruxism or tooth grinding. The night guard is an affordable, effective way of addressing a variety of concerns that are often associated with these conditions, including breakage of the natural teeth or dental restoration to chronic migraines and headaches.
How is a night guard made?
The process of creating a night guard for a patient is easy. First, patients are evaluated and a home sleep study is completed to confirm the nighttime grinding. Once confirmed by the sleep study report the dentist will recommend to have a night guard fabricated to wear while sleeping. A digital scan is taken of the upper and lower dental arch. This ensures the final mouth guard fits precisely into the teeth. Then, using this scan, a 3-D printer creates a final mold, the night guard is created out of high quality, durable, medical-grade plastics. When the guard is completed, the dentist makes sure it fits properly for the patient. Patients are strongly advised to use their night guard every night when they sleep, to protect the smile and reduce discomfort from certain dental conditions.
Who might benefit from a night guard?
Patients who benefit most from night guards include those who:
- Have teeth that exhibit moderate to severe wear
- Experience chronic headaches and migraines due to jaw tension
- Have been diagnosed with conditions such as TMJ/TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder)
- Deal with routine clenching and grinding while they sleep (bruxism)
Learn more about using a mouth guard for sleeping
If you experience any of the above concerns and want to learn more about how a night guard can help you, we welcome you to call North Aurora Smiles at (630) 984-2223. The practice, located at 601 Randall Crossing Lane, is open to new patients and families of the community and surrounding cities of Aurora, Sugar Grove, Geneva, Batavia, Big Rock, Campton Hills, Sycamore, Maple Park, Hinckley, Elburn, Oswego, Montgomery, La Fox, Kaneville and Yorkville.