Nightguards (or bitesplints) are custom-fitted plastic appliances that are worn over the teeth to protect them from damage due to clenching or grinding (a condition known as Bruxism.)
Bruxism is commonly associated with stress, but can be related to sleep disorders or a poor bite due to misaligned teeth or multiple missing teeth. Because it usually occurs during sleep, it can go unnoticed for years.
Common symptoms of bruxism include headaches, tired or sore facial muscles and cracked or sensitive teeth.
- Extensive grinding can cause severe wear of tooth enamel, making the teeth appear shorter and flattened.
- Teeth grinding is often loud enough to wake a sleep partner.
- Left untreated, bruxism can eventually result in serious damage to the teeth that may require extensive restorative procedures to repair.
A nightguard appliance is carefully designed to protect your teeth as well as help relax skeletal-facial muscles to prevent fatigue or pain. Dr. Coffey will closely monitor your results and ability to wear your appliance to ensure you get as much benefit as possible from your treatment.
Nightguards are sometimes recommended during jaw joint (temporomandibular joint/TMJ) therapy to treat dysfunctional joint movement.
As part of your complete dental evaluation, Dr. Coffey will evaluate both jaw joints (TMJ) and each tooth surface to observe for signs of distress and address any problems as needed to keep to your smile healthy and pain-free. If you “catch yourself” grinding your teeth or clenching or are experiencing discomfort, please bring this to our attention so that we can develop a treatment plan to help keep your teeth and jaw joints healthy and pain-free.
If you would like to schedule a FREE consultation for a nightguard with Encinitas Dentist, Edward B. Coffey, DDS MS – Encinitas Dental Art, please call us at (760) 942-7272. Hablamos Español.