Occlusal Guard (Night Guard)
Bruxism is the clenching and grinding of your teeth during sleep. Clenching locks the teeth together tightly without allowing the muscles to relax. Grinding is when the upper and lower teeth slide back and forth across each other causing wear spots to develop in the teeth.
Some of the common symptoms of bruxism are sore jaw facial muscular pain, loose teeth, earache, headache, wear spots through enamel, and fractured teeth. Causes of bruxism are varied and include stress, sleep disorders, muscle imbalance, and abnormal bite. Treatment of bruxism is usually limited to the preventive approach involving a device known as an occlusal guard, or night guard. It is custom made from clear plastic and is usually worn over the upper teeth. This reduces pressure on the jaw joints (TMJ) and results in wear of the plastic rather than your teeth. Other treatment modalities include stress reduction, Orthodontics, and occlusal analysis and adjustment of high spots.