Dr Angela Zhang may recommend a nightguard if patients clench and grind their teeth or when they have jaw pain in their TMJs, called TMD – temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Teeth Grinding, Called Bruxism
Most patients will have intermittent instances of teeth grinding due to stress or illness. For some patients, however, teeth grinding is a nightly occurrence. This habit often occurs unconsciously during sleep and can have a negative impact on oral health and well-being.
Bruxism leads to:
- Worn and broken teeth
- Painful face and jaw muscles
- Headaches and migraines
- Teeth sensitivity
Teeth grinding occurs for a number of reasons, including having a misaligned bite, some prescription medications and jaw joint disorders. Clicking, popping and locking jaw joints are common among people who grind their teeth.
A nightguard will protect the teeth by putting a barrier between the upper and lower jaw. This reduces the force caused by enamel-to-enamel contact and can reduce fractures and cracked teeth.
For patients with painful jaw joints, occlusal (bite) splints can help the jaw relax into its proper position. When the jaw is seated correctly in its joint, muscle inflammation and discomfort often subside.
Give our Sydney dental office a call if you think you grind your teeth.