Do you grind or clench your teeth while you sleep? Nightguards offered by your family dentists in Charlotte, NC, Drs. Susan Hockaday and Jim Baucom of Hockaday & Baucom can prevent tooth damage and pain caused by the habits.
The dangers of grinding or clenching
Grinding or clenching increases your risk of these issues:
- Tooth Damage: Grinding can wear down tooth enamel, crack or break teeth and fillings, and even loosen dental implants and teeth. If broken, cracked, or loose teeth can't be repaired or saved, you'll need to restore it with bridges, dentures, or dental implants.
- Receding Gums: Over time, grinding or clenching can cause your gum tissue to recede.
- Headaches: Do you often wake up with a headache? Grinding or clenching can stress and tighten the muscles in your head and neck, causing pain.
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ): Grinding or clenching stresses your jaw and can cause or worsen TMJ. The condition affects the hinge joints on either side of your jaw, causing jaw stiffness, clicking or popping when you open or close your mouth, temporary jaw locking, and jaw, neck, or ear pain.
How can a nightguard help you?
Nightguards are simple oral appliances that offer a simple, effective solution if you grind or clench your teeth when you sleep. The guards are placed over the teeth in your upper and lower jaw and look a little like the mouthguards you use to play sports.
Nightguards absorb the strong forces produced when you grind or clench your teeth. The guards protect your teeth and restorations, reduce stress on your jaw, and help prevent or reduce headaches and TMJ symptoms.
During your visit to the Charlotte dental office, your dentist will make an impression on your mouth. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory that creates your guard. In just a week or two, your brand new nightguard will be ready. Once you receive your nightguard, it's important to wear it every night, or your symptoms could return.
Protect your smile with a nightguard! Call your Charlotte, NC, family dentists, Drs. Susan Hockaday and Jim Baucom of Hockaday & Baucom at (704) 553-2348 to schedule your appointment.