Teeth grinding erodes the enamel and damages your smile. At his self-named practice in Phoenix, Arizona, Michael W. Zacher, DDS, offers custom-made nightguards to protect your teeth from teeth grinding, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and other dental concerns that can damage your teeth while you sleep. Call now or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.
A nightguard is a custom-made device that you wear while you sleep to protect your teeth. Typically made of clear plastic materials, a nightguard fits the unique shape of your teeth for optimal comfort.
It prevents your teeth from gnashing together and eroding. A nightguard can also encourage your jaw to sit in a comfortable position to relieve stress from your muscles.
The two most common reasons Dr. Zacher recommends a nightguard are:
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, causes your upper and lower teeth to grate together. While many people do grind their teeth during the day, the condition is far more common during sleep. You may not even realize you have bruxism until Dr. Zacher examines your tooth enamel.
TMJ is any type of condition that affects the temporomandibular joints. You have one of these sliding-hinge joints on each side of your jaw. They allow you to chew and speak comfortably. Damage to the joints or the muscles that support them can lead to jaw clenching that puts stress on your teeth.
Many people who have bruxism also suffer from TMJ, so a comprehensive evaluation is important to receive a proper diagnosis.
Common signs that you have bruxism, TMJ, or both conditions include:
Teeth grinding and TMJ can put pressure on your teeth, which may result in chips, cracks, or fractures.
After a comprehensive dental exam that includes digital X-rays, Dr. Zacher takes highly accurate impressions of your teeth.
An outside dental lab then uses these impressions to create your custom-made nightguard with clear acrylic plastic materials. This process typically takes about 2-3 weeks.
Many drug stores sell boil-and-bite nightguards. If you choose this option, you must boil the nightguard and bite down on it to create your impression. The material quickly hardens to match your bite. Boil-and-bite nightguards aren’t as comfortable as custom-made options, nor do they last as long.
To learn more about custom-made nightguards, call Michael W. Zacher, DDS, or schedule an appointment online today.