Bruxism is when you grind or clench your teeth. These are classified as parafunctional habits, meaning “outside of normal function.” As your teeth, muscles and jaw joints are exposed to excess function, abnormal tooth wear, facial muscle pain and joint problems can occur.
The first line of defense against bruxism is a night guard. As the name suggests, the custom made plastic device is placed on the teeth and worn at night. Most bruxism occurs at night, and furthermore, people are able to clench and grind at higher levels of force when they are sleeping. Wearing the night guard can reduce the amount of stress on the muscles as well as protect the teeth from wearing down.
For most people a night guard will be adequate. However, occasionally treatments such as Botox may be done to limit muscle pain.
Bruxism is extremely common, so ask us if a night guard is right for you!