Occlusal Guards in Royal Oak, MI
Occlusal guards, also known as mouth guards or night guards, are used to treat a range of dental and health concerns. At Family Dentistry of Royal Oak, we can fit you for customized mouth guards to treat grinding and clenching, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and even migraines.
If you are having trouble with any of these conditions, call our Royal Oak dental office to schedule a consultation and examination with Dr. Suchi Chalasani DMD to find out how an occlusal guard can help you.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching (Bruxism)
Teeth grinding and clenching is a common concern, medically known as “bruxism.” It can be caused by misalignment of the teeth or jaws or even stress. While some people are aware of their tendency to grind or clench their teeth, others are not (although their partners may have heard the distinctive sound).
Grinding and clenching your teeth can lead to serious consequences. Your teeth can become eroded and even fracture. You may lose teeth. Additionally, you will probably experience headaches and jaw pain. You may develop a disorder of the joint where your bottom jaw connects to your skull called TMJ.
A mouth guard protects your teeth from grinding and clenching by holding your jaws slightly apart from each other and cushioning the teeth.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ or TMD)
In this condition, your temporomandibular joint (where your lower jaw connects to your skull) becomes inflamed and painful. Your jaw may become stuck or locked, you may hear clicking or grinding sounds from the joint, and you may experience throbbing or shooting pains in your jaw, your neck and shoulders, your ear, or your head.
TMJ may be the result of untreated bruxism, or it may come from arthritis or an injury to the joint. If left untreated, the result could be chronic pain that lessens your quality of life. You may also develop ear problems like tinnitus.
As with bruxism, a mouth guard treats TMJ by holding the jaw slightly open. This allows the muscles and tendons to relax and reduces pressure on the joint, allowing the inflammation to subside.
Migraines are a debilitating condition, affecting millions. Many who suffer have tried nearly everything to get some relief but may not realize that the solution to their problem can be found from their dentist.
For many migraine sufferers, their headaches are triggered by constant muscle tension caused by clenching their jaws. The muscle tension irritates their nerves and sets off migraine headaches. A mouth guard that prevents the jaw from clenching and the muscles from tightening has been shown to significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches in these patients.
We are able to fit you for a specially designed type of mouth guard called an NTI-tss plus. This small device fits between your front teeth and is worn while you sleep. It holds your jaws far enough apart that the back teeth can’t come together, preventing the clenching and nerve irritation cycle from starting.
Call us today for an examination and consultation to find out if an occlusal guard can help you.