What is a night guard?
A night guard may also be called a bite guard, occlusal guard, or bite splint. It’s a custom-made acrylic appliance that is typically worn at night, and helps to protect teeth, existing fillings and other dental work from being damaged. It’s a great preventative measure that can help reduce the chances of cracking teeth, fillings, crowns and overall wear. This may be recommended for you when the doctor is evaluating your bite and inspecting for signs and symptoms of clenching and/or grinding of your teeth.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Grinding and clenching can be very evident to the patient, but many times it can go undetected. People often clench and grind during their sleep without even knowing it! Some signs and symptoms may include:
- Waking up with or having random headaches and jaw pains
- Cracking teeth when eating something, even soft foods
- Having misaligned teeth
- Muscle soreness in your face and neck region
- Ear aches & vertigo
- Flattening/wearing of your teeth. We call this “attrition”
- The loss of tooth structure in a “wedge” shape along the gumline. We call this “abfraction”