If you’re waking up each morning with achy, sensitive teeth or a sore jaw, you could be clenching and grinding your teeth while you sleep. It’s a very common problem, especially when people are feeling stressed. Fortunately, Dr. McBirney has a solution that will protect your teeth and help you feel better: a custom night guard.
TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint and it’s where the lower jaw meets the skull. TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorder – this is the name for the symptoms, which include clicking, popping, pain, locking, tightness, headaches, and tooth sensitivity. What often happens is your teeth (even if they are perfectly straight) prevent your jaw from resting where it wants to, and the discrepancy causes your jaw muscles to work overtime.
The great news, however, is that custom night guards can make a tremendous difference. A night guard prevents your upper and lower teeth from coming into contact, lessening the effects of grinding and clenching. It does not stop the habit, but it allows your jaw to rest properly. This helps muscles relax, resulting in improved sleep patterns, too.
Night guards also help you by preventing costly tooth damage. The habit of grinding and clenching can cause chipped teeth, damaged fillings, and excessive wear. Los Altos Dentist Dr. McBirney believes that the key is to remember is that over-the-counter night guards can do more harm than good, exacerbating the problem because the fit is not right. That’s why a custom night guard is ideal. It will not only safeguard your comfort, but the quality of your smile, too.