Occlusal Guards IN Chesterfield MO
You may not even know if you grind your teeth while you sleep, but over time, this tooth-grinding, or bruxism, can wear down the enamel of your teeth, leading to soreness and damage that may require costly treatment. But there are ways to prevent this damage and wear to your teeth. The best way to protect your teeth if you suffer from bruxism is with an occlusal guard.
How Do I Know if I Grind My Teeth?
There are many symptoms you can watch for to determine if you grind your teeth. If you have a constant dull headache or jaw soreness upon waking, you may suffer from bruxism. The teeth can become sensitive to hot and cold as the protective enamel is worn away. Often, it is a partner who first notices the sound of you grinding your teeth. But the best way to determine if you are a bruxism sufferer is with a thorough examination by Chesterfield dentist Dr. Rahm.
Dr. Rahm can inspect your teeth and look for signs of wear or damage. If he finds evidence of bruxism, an occlusal guard can help prevent further damage to your teeth and jaw and may ease the other symptoms of bruxism, as well.
What Is an Occlusal Guard?
Occlusal guards are an appliance, usually made of acrylic. The guard is crafted to comfortably and securely fit over your teeth. The occlusal guard holds your teeth apart while you sleep and covers the enamel, preventing further wear and protecting your teeth.
The occlusal guard is inserted at bedtime and removed when you wake up. Some patients find they only grind their teeth in times of stress and only need to use their occlusal guard occasionally, such as in the weeks before a test or other major event. Others suffer from chronic bruxism and should use the guard every night.
Occlusal Appliance (Night Guard)
How Often Should I Replace My Occlusal Guard?
We custom-craft your occlusal guard to fit snugly to your teeth for a comfortable fit that won't bother you as you sleep. However, over time your teeth may shift, and you may find that the guard doesn't fit as well as it used to. If this happens, contact our Chesterfield, MO dental office to schedule an appointment. We may be able to adjust the fit.
Depending on the severity of your bruxism, a single occlusal guard can last for several years, as long as your teeth don't shift. You'll know it's time to replace your occlusal guard if the acrylic is worn away or if it no longer fits comfortably.
Give Your Teeth a Good Night's Sleep
If you grind your teeth or would like more information about how occlusal guards can protect you and your family's smile, call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rahm.