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Do I Really Need a Night Guard for Bruxism?

July 9, 2022
Posted By: Webster Groves Dental
Two night guards for TMJ at dentist in Webster Groves, MO

Do you wake up with an achy or sore jaw? If so, you might be grinding and clenching your teeth at night, a common behavior known as bruxism. Bruxism can wear down your teeth and damage the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that connects the mandible to the skull. 

At Webster Groves Dental, we offer a comfortable and effective solution to jaw pain, TMJ issues, and bruxism. Our custom night guards––also referred to as splits or oral appliances––are custom-made to ease your pain and protect your smile. Dr. Matthew Wenzel, DMD is a skilled TMJ dentist who can provide the treatment that best meets your needs. 

What Is a Custom Night Guard?

Over time, teeth grinding and clenching can cause extensive damage to dental enamel and structure, leading to tooth decay and sensitivity. It can also cause headaches, interrupted sleep, and pain in the face, jaw, and neck. 

A night guard looks very similar to teeth whitening trays, and they sit over the teeth to protect them from bruxism. Though a night guard doesn’t stop you from grinding or clenching your teeth during sleep, it shields your teeth by providing a cushioning or barrier. It also helps reposition the lower and upper teeth. 

How Do I Know If I Need a Night Guard?

During your evaluation, your dentist in Webster Groves, MO will assess your bite and determine if you will benefit from a night guard. If you have morning headaches, a bruxing habit, TMJ pain, or a TMJ disorder, your dentist may recommend a protective night guard. 

Your dentist will screen you for bruxism or TMJ disorder if you have any of the following symptoms: 

  • Pain, soreness, or tenderness in the face, jaw, neck, shoulder, or ears 
  • Difficulty chewing or opening your mouth wide
  • A clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth or when you chew
  • Lockjaw, or if your jaw ever gets stuck in a position 
  • Swelling on the side of your face
  • An uncomfortable bite

Contact Us for Night Guards in Webster Groves, MO

A night guard is a noninvasive, convenient, and affordable way to shift the jaw and teeth into proper alignment, relieving symptoms of TMJ syndrome and bruxism. If you have problems with your jaws, clenching or grinding your teeth, or migraines, please call us at (314) 918-9666 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Wenzel. We look forward to helping you at our Webster Groves dentist office! 

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