An occlusal guard is a device that’s designed to keep your teeth from touching each other when your jaw is closed while you sleep. Occlusal guards are used to protect your teeth from bruxism, also known as teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding can wear down your enamel and cause damage to your teeth. If left untreated, bruxism can cause your teeth permanent damage, so it’s important to identify bruxism when it’s happening, and to wear an occlusal guard when it’s needed. Below are the signs that you may need occlusal guards.
You Experience Jaw Pain and Soreness
Jaw pain and soreness are a sign that you’re putting stress on your teeth and jaw by grinding them together. You may experience jaw pain and soreness in the mornings when you wake up, or at random times during the day. You’ll especially notice that pain when you’re chewing.
You Have TMJ Syndrome
TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome is a condition that occurs when the joint where the jaw meets the head becomes inflamed and painful. This condition can occur for a variety of reasons, but one of the potential causes is bruxism.
TMJ is characterized by a clicking sound when the jaw is being used, pain in the jaw, dizziness, migraines and so on. If you have TMJ, an occlusal guard may help stop the problem from worsening. It may even reverse some of the effects, if bruxism is the cause of your problem.
You Get Headaches In the Morning
Headaches in the morning are another indication that you’re grinding your teeth at night, especially if the headaches occur when you first wake up and are not alleviated by having coffee.
Your Teeth are Chipped, Cracked or Loose
Bruxism that goes on for a long time can cause your teeth to wear down and become damaged. This can result in chipping, cracking and loosening of the teeth. If you’re having such problems, it’s definitely time to see the dentist. There could be many potential reasons you’re experiencing this issue, but a common cause is teeth grinding.
See Your Dentist for Help
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, your dentist can diagnose your condition. If you need an occlusal guard, there are many guards available in pharmacies, but the best products are custom-made for the patient by the dentist. These specially made guards are more comfortable than commercially available guards, and because they’re custom-made, they have the right fit to help you.
At Weninger Dentistry, we provide TMJ therapy, we help repair damaged teeth, and we can create a mouthguard that’s right for our patients. For dental care in Tampa and an occlusal guard that fits just right, call us today to make an appointment.