Dentist West Linn
Mouthguards are used to protect your teeth. At ZenTech Dentistry, we recommend their use to protect teeth from damage when playing sports, or to protect your teeth from the effects of bruxism while sleeping. Referred to as a nightguard, this simple tool provides a silicone layer between the teeth to prevent the damage that can occur from grinding or clenching while sleeping. Wearing it can save you painful cracks, fractures, and flattened teeth.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism comes from a Greek phrase simply defined as teeth grinding. It is a common, however potentially destructive behavior most often occurring while a person sleeps. The person may express it through:
||Teeth Grinding: Grinding your teeth means to move them against each other in a swirling, or circular motion. The result of this action is the wearing down of the enamel, almost like sanding down your teeth. This is sometimes referred to as flattening your teeth. The results are teeth that no longer have the pointed tips to use in chewing and breaking down food.
||Teeth Clenching: Clenching your teeth means to apply pressure to the top and bottom jaw firmly together. The results can cause cracks and fractures in the teeth or pain in the jaw joint. Sometimes patients may be unaware of this act until bacteria finds its way into a small crack in a tooth which can then reach the inner pulp of the tooth causing a tooth that appears healthy to become infected. Other times the patient may become very aware because a piece of tooth actually breaks off. Other symptoms can include waking with headaches or muscle tension due to the tightness they have held their jaw in.
||Combination of Grinding and Clenching: Some patients may do both the grinding and clenching of their teeth. This can result in all of the effects of both activities including the flattening and fracture of teeth.
How can a Night Guard help?
Bruxism can be highly problematic, but is often temporary. Most people find that they experience it when going through times of stress or exhaustion. By simply wearing a night guard, or mouthguard, while you sleep during these escalated times, you can save yourself painful and expensive dental problems. Working with our staff, we can customize a mouthguard that will fit comfortably in your mouth. It will provide a layer between the teeth to help prevent the effects of bruxism.
Mouthguards are designed to fit over your teeth. They are made of a silicone material that provides some firmness while also being pliable. When you are not wearing it, you will store it in a container that will be provided. Caring for it is done through simply rinsing it before and after use. Most patients do not require their night guard to be worn every night, only during times when they are experiencing bruxism symptoms.
Customized mouthguards provide something that store bought ones can’t, comfort. By having your night guard designed with you in mind, your likelihood of wearing it goes up. Most store bought options are designed in a one size fits all style, and rarely do they fit all. We can help you have the protection you need, when you need it, while wearing a device that is made to fit your mouth.
If you are interested in being fitted for a night guard, give ZenTech Dentistry a call at (503) 765-9699.