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(734) 284-8088
(734) 284-8088

How Night Guards Are a Must-Have for a Healthier Smile

Night guards Southgate MI dentistsGrinding teeth or clenching them every time you sleep can lead to unwanted consequences for your smile if left unchecked. Our Southgate, MI, dentists can get in front of the issue and protect your precious pearly whites by crafting a custom night guard for you to put in place before you drift off.

Here’s some background on bruxism and how it warrants the need for intervention.

Bruxism and TMJ Disorders: What Are They?

Experienced by many worldwide, bruxism is a common condition in which you grind and clench your teeth excessively. It can happen during the day or at night and oftentimes goes unnoticed by the affected individual.

Both adults and children can experience bruxism. Fortunately, most cases are easily treated with dental appliances, like night guards. More often than not, bruxism results from high levels of stress, anxiety, or an abnormal bite.

Temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, disorders can also play into an individual’s need for a night guard. Think of your temporomandibular joint as a sliding hinge that connects the jawbone to your skull. When there is compromised or dysfunctional movement of the jaw joint, pain can occur in the facial muscles.

Our dentists will have to evaluate your teeth and jaw for obvious signs of bruxism and TMJ disorder. If tooth wear is found and facial pain is reported after waking, a night guard will be created. Feel free to ask about this option during your next teeth cleaning at our Southgate, MI, dental office.

When There’s a Problem

Any sign of bruxism or a TMJ disorder should be relayed to our dentists. If untreated, the long-term existence of either condition can result in possible loss of teeth, enamel, and more.

If you’re noticing any of the following, it may be bruxism:

  • Dull headaches after waking up
  • Jaw, neck, or face soreness
  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose
  • Fatigue caused by lack of sleep
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles

If your grinding or clenching do result in damage to your teeth, our dentists may discuss the need for restorative procedures like porcelain crowns or dental implants.

How Night Guards Operate

Night guards help protect your teeth and gums from the effects of constant grinding and clenching. They do this by acting as a barrier between your top and bottom teeth. Because the teeth can’t touch when the night guard is in place, grinding and clenching become difficult.

The night guard also gives the muscles in the jaw a cushioning effect if you do try to clench your teeth. Its presence lightens the tension put on the jaw and prevents pain in the area as well as tooth enamel loss. A win-win!

Protect Your Teeth Now & Later

Ask our dentists serving Southgate and Greater Detroit, MI, today about a night guard and we’d be happy to have you fitted for one. It’s a painless process and easy for all patients! Get started by calling Northline Dental at (734) 284-8088 or request an appointment online.