Family Dentistry

What is an occlusal guard?

An occlusal guard—also called a nightguard—is used to treat conditions like bruxism (grinding and clenching your teeth) and TMJ, or jaw joint issues.

Our dentists customize your nightguards by taking impressions of your mouth. This allows the appliance to work for your unique needs.

For bruxism, the nightguard works by gently separating your upper and lower jaw during sleep. This prevents bruxism during rest and allows you to sleep without worry that you’re grinding down your teeth. When left untreated, bruxism can lead to tooth fractures and even tooth loss.

Signs of bruxism include:

  • Worn teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Migraine headaches

Bruxism can be linked to TMJ, also called TMD—temporomandibular joint dysfunction. This means the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull is not functioning properly.

Signs of TMJ are similar to bruxism as far as pain, but you may also notice a clicking sound in your jaw and even a locking jaw in some cases.

Occlusal Guards in Royal Oak 

For more information on occlusal guards, including an evaluation for bruxism and jaw health, we encourage you to reach out to our dental office to schedule a consultation.

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