Dr. Blaylock, your experienced dentist in Durham, NC, offers custom bite guards. We recommend them to patients to relieve jaw pain and muscle tension or to address teeth grinding.
Patients who grind their teeth or clench their teeth can benefit from using a custom fit bite guard to both protect the teeth and reduce symptoms associated with too much pressure on the jaw joints.
Bite Guards for Teeth Grinding
Dr. Brent Blaylock provides thorough and comprehensive dental care for patients who suffer from complex dental problems, including teeth grinding. Teeth grinding, called bruxism, is a common symptom of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD), commonly known as TMJ. To learn more about how to treat TMJ disorders, see TMJ treatments.
Although many patients do not realize they are grinding their teeth, there are several common signs of teeth grinding:
- Jaw pain
- Clicking or popping
- Damaged or worn teeth
- Sensitive teeth
When left untreated, bruxism can cause significant damage to teeth and contribute to painful symptoms like headaches and jaw pain. Stress can be a primary cause of teeth grinding, but an underlying TMD can sometimes lead to teeth grinding.
Lifestyle changes and relaxation techniques may help to reduce or stop your teeth from grinding. In many cases, though, professional treatment is needed to correct the source of the problem and repair damage caused by teeth grinding.
Dr. Blaylock frequently recommends a tooth-grinding mouth guard, or bite guard, to stop teeth grinding. A bite guard is a customized, removable appliance similar to a sports mouthguard that is made to fit over your teeth and prevent teeth grinding.
Most bite guards are worn at night, however, some patients find wearing their teeth-grinding mouth guards during high-stress situations beneficial. While there is a wide range of over-the-counter options for bite guards, a custom-made appliance will offer the best protection and be designed to address your individual dental health needs.
Why should I choose to get a custom bite guard from a dentist?
If you have been diagnosed with bruxism or a TMJ disorder, Dr. Blaylock will recommend a bite guard purchased through him. Even though there are many options to choose from online and in-store, it is best to get a custom-fit mouthguard from a dentist office.
This will ensure that the molds are taken correctly, and your bite guard is, therefore, accurate. The online options are do-it-yourself, and you risk not creating your mold correctly.
No one can guarantee a more custom fit than a dentist. Dr. Blaylock and his staff have years of experience taking accurate molds of teeth.
The quality of the material is also very important. Dr. Blaylock will only send your molds to the top dental labs offering top-quality mouth guards.
Our office will also take into account the position of your jaw and will make adjustments accordingly. With an accurate and quality bite guard, you will have protection that is comfortable and will last a long time.
Restorative Care for Teeth Grinding
If you’ve been grinding your teeth, the signs show up in your mouth. Your teeth may be chipped or broken or are getting worn down prematurely because of your teeth grinding. To make sure that your teeth are still able to be used, as well as improve the aesthetics of your smile, we may suggest dental restorations for these teeth.
These can include dental crowns, tooth bonding, or porcelain veneers. If pieces of your teeth are broken off, these methods can help to make your teeth whole again. Pain can come from exposed tooth roots and nerves, causing sensitivity when they’re touched. Restorative efforts can protect these nerves and help to eliminate the pain. We also want you to have a smile you want to show off, which may not be the case if you have broken or damaged teeth.
How long does a dental bite guard last?
A dental bite guard can last several years when used correctly and regularly. Your dentist will advise you on when to replace your guard. It will also depend on the type of material your dentist uses to create bite guards, how often you wear them, and any other individual factors, such as grinding or clenching at night.
Can wearing a bite guard at night cause dry mouth?
No, wearing a dental bite guard at night will not cause dry mouth. However, if you have underlying issues with your oral health that contribute to dry mouth, they may become more noticeable while wearing the guard. If this is the case, talk to your dentist about other ways to manage these symptoms.
Can a bite guard damage teeth?
If used properly, a bite guard should not damage your teeth. However, if it is too tight or ill-fitting, it can cause TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain and lead to other dental problems, such as tooth erosion. It is vital for your dentist to correctly fit your bite guard. This is so your dentist can readjust or replace the bite guard when they need to ensure they are functioning at their best.
Can a bite guard straighten your teeth?
No, bite guards cannot straighten your teeth. Although they can help protect your teeth from grinding or clenching at night. To achieve straighter teeth, you will need to speak to your dentist about orthodontic treatment options available to reposition the teeth within the dental arch.
Does a bite guard help TMJ?
Yes, a bite guard can help to relieve TMJ pain. Bite guards work by cushioning the jaw muscles and preventing them from grinding or clenching, reducing joint tension, and alleviating discomfort. They also protect the teeth and dental restoration from damage from TMJ, TMD, or coexisting conditions such as bruxism.
Do over-the-counter bite guards work?
Over-the-counter bite guards may provide short-term relief. However, your dentist can design a custom fit guard specifically for you. Custom guards are more comfortable and effective. They can also adjust as need be to ensure they are working properly.
Schedule a Dental Exam Today
Teeth grinding is not something you have to live with. Dr. Blaylock offers the proper treatment to help patients stop grinding and correct the damage caused by grinding.
Schedule a visit for a consultation with Dr. Brent Blaylock today to learn more about bite guards! Give us a call at 919-518-9963, or request an appointment online.