Grinding your teeth can hurt your tooth enamel and even cause jaw pain and headaches. At Legacy Dental Care in Ballwin, Missouri, dental experts use custom mouth guards to help you prevent tooth grinding at night and relieve painful symptoms. Call today or schedule an appointment online to find relief from TMJ, bruxism, and other grinding problems.
A mouth guard is a plastic tray you place in your mouth while you sleep. The tray may be soft and rubbery or more rigid to hold your teeth or jaw in place. Your dentist can create a custom mouth guard that fits your teeth perfectly and feels more comfortable when you wear it.
Mouth guards help protect your teeth and relieve symptoms associated with conditions like bruxism. Bruxism is a disorder where you involuntarily grind your teeth at night while you sleep. Over time, this grinding can wear down your enamel and damage your teeth.
A night guard for bruxism is soft. It acts as a barrier between your teeth to prevent damage to your enamel.
Mouth guards may also help with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. With this disorder, you may clench your jaw tightly, though you don’t grind your teeth. TMJ can result from stress or problems with the joint itself. You may experience pain in the joint where your jaw hinges, may experience jaw popping, or find it difficult to fully open your jaw.
A mouth guard for TMJ is rigid. It holds your teeth and jaws in place to help relieve pain and stress on the joint. These mouth guards must be custom made and your dentist can adjust it until you find the most comfortable fit.
You’ll need to care for your mouth guard similarly to how you care for your teeth. You should brush the mouth guard with a toothbrush and toothpaste every morning. If you have a soft mouth guard, you can keep it in a container to help prevent exposure to germs when you aren’t wearing it. You should also clean the case at least once a week with hot water and soap.
If you have a rigid mouth guard, you should store it in cool tap water when you’re not wearing it. This helps prevent the plastic from drying out and weakening.
No matter which type of mouth guard you have, never use alcohol-based cleaning solutions on it, as it may hurt the plastic.
If you clench your jaw or grind your teeth, call or schedule an appointment online with Legacy Dental Care today to find relief.