Night Guards

Choosing Night Guards in Charlotte, NC

What may seem like an annoyance to some people is, in reality, a potentially serious dental condition. It's called bruxism or nighttime tooth grinding, and while the noise may drive a spouse or parent crazy, the real problems are wearing, damage to tooth enamel and related medical conditions.  Night Guards in Charlotte, NC Fortunately, dentists can offer patients a simple and relatively cost-sparing solution called a nightguard.

Causes and results of tooth grinding

Both children and adults grind their teeth. While children seem to outgrow bruxism, the American Dental Association (ADA) says adults can struggle with it for years because of:

  • anxiety and stress
  • a misaligned bite
  • allergies
  • sleep apnea and other sleep-related disorders

The repeated clenching and crushing forces associated with bruxism can result in:

  • tooth pain and nerve sensitivity
  • cracks and chips in tooth enamel
  • tooth loss
  • receding of gums
  • headaches
  • pain in the ear, back, shoulders, and neck

A night guard can be a solution

Your dentist may be able to help with tooth grinding. After an oral examination to pinpoint causes and possible treatments for bruxism, the dentist may recommend an acrylic or thermoplastic mouth guard fitted over the upper or lower teeth. While sporting goods stores and pharmacies sell over the counter and "boil and bite" guards to protect an individual's teeth from injury during sports and exercise, these devices are generally not considered adequate to treat a serious tooth clenching problem.
A custom-made nightguard fits a patient's mouth exactly because the dentist takes an impression of the teeth and sends it to a dental lab. A skilled technician fabricates the guard according to the impression and the dentist's instructions. Worn at night, a custom mouth guard separates and cushions the upper and lower teeth and significantly reduces the destructive forces caused by grinding.
Some conditions related to tooth grinding may need more aggressive therapy. Some individuals need pharmaceutical muscle relaxants and relaxation therapies to control their symptoms. The primary physician and dentist are the best people to consult for a solution to tooth grinding.

Caring for a night guard

This simple dental appliance is easy to wear and to care for:
  1. Brush and floss before wearing a nightguard.
  2. Clean it with warm water and soap. Rinse it well before inserting it.
  3. Keep it in a perforated container to protect it and keep it flexible.
  4. Avoid storing it in extreme temperatures as this breaks down the material.
  5. Have your dentist check it for fit and wear when you go for your regular examination and cleaning.

Dr. Susan A. Hockaday Family Dental Practice

Doctor Susan A. Hockaday is the Charlotte, North Carolina dentist who evaluates your teeth and help you decide if a nightguard is right for you. Experience, expertise, and a desire to see you with a beautiful, healthy, and long-lasting smile--that's what you'll find at Dr. Susan A. Hockaday Family Dental Practice. Call today for an appointment: (704) 624-8068 .

For more information on Night Guards in the Charlotte, NC area
call Dr. Susan A. Hockaday Family Dental Practice at (704) 624-8068