Do I need a night guard?

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Do I need a nightguard?

Life through COVID has been hard. Adjusting to life through the pandemic, disruptions to work, school and family life have all had a big impact on us all. Dr Jasper Lee explains:

 

Dr Jasper Lee, associate dentist explaining an occlusal splint to a patient
Dr Jasper Lee, associate dentist explaining an occlusal splint to a patient

Did you know that it could also be affecting your teeth?

 

Over the course of the last 12 months we’ve seen quite a few patients reporting jaw or muscle pain, and lots of cracked teeth.

 

What’s happening?

When we go to sleep and are highly stressed, our subconscious is still highly active, which can manifest in either tooth grinding or clenching behaviours. Normally, our teeth only come into contact when we’re chewing, but when we’re stressed, our teeth can be heavily contacting for hours at a time. This can result in the following things:

  1. Chewing muscles or jaw joint being overloaded causing persistent pain and soreness
  2. Ligaments between the teeth and jaw becoming overloaded and inflamed, making it hard to eat
  3. Physical wearing (attrition) of teeth during a grinding motion
  4. Fracture of teeth / fillings as teeth can pushed beyond their physical limits

Some patients will have acute symptoms and others don’t. But in the long term this can have serious impacts. If you’re having some of these symptoms, it’s good to get it addressed and we’re here to help you.

 

Enter the Occlusal Splint

An Occlusal Splint ready for a patient
An Occlusal Splint ready for a patient

Occlusal Splints (the fancy name for a nighguard) are custom made plastic night guards that are worn while you sleep. They cover one arch helping to prevent physical damage on a particular tooth during grinding and can help train to keep your jaw at a more neutral position.

 

Dr Tharaka, Renee and Jasper can help to identify factors that may be contributing to clenching and grinding and whether a splint would be a suitable treatment along with other pain relief and physical therapies.

 

Contact us at Shepherds Hill Dental Centre if you’d like to find out more.

Dr Jasper is our associated dentist, keen environmentalist and dad. He consults at the practice on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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