Do you grind your teeth at night? Do you clench your jaw during the day? If so, you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching. This can lead to a number of dental problems, including tooth decay, enamel erosion, and even TMJ disorder.
Luckily, there is a solution: an occlusal guard. An occlusal guard is a custom-made mouthguard that protects your teeth from the damage caused by bruxism and clenching. In this article, we will discuss how an occlusal guard can be used to protect your teeth.
1. An occlusal guard can protect your teeth from the damage caused by bruxism
An occlusal guard is a custom-made mouthguard that is worn over the teeth to protect them from damage. Bruxism is a condition where you grind or clenches your teeth involuntarily, and it can cause a lot of wear and tear on the teeth over time.
Wearing an occlusal guard can help to protect your teeth from this damage by creating a buffer between your teeth and the force of your jaw. In addition, an occlusal guard can also help to reduce the risk of enamel erosion from excessive grinding over long periods of time. If you think you may be suffering from bruxism, talk to your dentist about getting an occlusal guard custom made for you.
2. An occlusal guard can prevent enamel erosion
In addition to protecting your teeth from the damage caused by bruxism, occlusal guards can also help to prevent enamel erosion. Enamel is the hard, outer layer of the tooth that protects it from decay.
However, over time, this protective layer can become worn down by acidic foods and drinks, as well as by the grinding and clenching of teeth. Wearing an occlusal guard can help to protect the enamel from this wear and tear, and keep your teeth looking healthy and strong.
3. An occlusal guard can help relieve TMJ disorder symptoms
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a condition that can cause a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms, including pain in the jaw, headaches, and clicking or popping sounds when opening and closing the mouth.
In some cases, the pain can be so severe that it interferes with normal daily activities. One way to help relieve TMJ disorder symptoms is to wear an occlusal guard. Also known as a night guard, an occlusal guard is a custom-made mouthpiece that fits over the teeth. It helps to keep the teeth from coming into contact with each other, which can reduce the stress on the jaw and provide relief from pain.
They can also be worn to help encourage the realignment of the jaw, which can help to reverse some of those popping and clicking sounds. Occlusal guards are usually worn at night, but they can also be worn during the day if necessary. If you are suffering from TMJ disorder symptoms, talk to your dentist about whether an occlusal guard might be right for you.
4. An occlusal guard can be used to protect your teeth during sports activities
If you participate in any contact sports, you know that there is always a risk of sustaining an injury to the mouth. Wearing an occlusal guard during sports can help to protect your teeth from damage if you are hit in the mouth. If you wear braces, it is important to wear a guard during sports to protect the inside of your mouth from the brackets and wires.
It’s crucial to note that you should not wear the same occlusal guard during sports as you would during sleep. They are designed for different purposes, and can lead to injury if used improperly.
5. An occlusal guard can be used to protect your teeth while sleeping
If you suffer from bruxism, you may find that wearing an occlusal guard at night can help to protect your teeth from the damage caused by grinding and clenching.
In addition, if you have sleep apnea, you may be recommended to wear an occlusal guard at night to help keep your airway open. Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing stops and starts during sleep, and can be very dangerous if left untreated. Wearing an occlusal guard can help to keep the airway open and prevent pauses in breathing.
There are many reasons why you might need to wear an occlusal guard. Whether you suffer from bruxism, TMJ disorder, or sleep apnea, or you simply want to protect your teeth during sports activities, an occlusal guard can be a helpful tool. Talk to your dentist about whether an occlusal guard is right for you.