Posted on May 9, 2014 in Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a night guard?

 

 

 

 

Grinding

 

Grinding, Night guard

 

Teeth undergo stress from clenching, chewing and for 90% of the population night time grinding.   Possibly the most under treated oral disease but one I have observed is a primary precursor for cavities,  dental abscesses, cracked teeth, enamel wear, sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, TMJ abnormalities, recession and often chronic isolated gingivitis.

With age, teeth naturally undergo wear and erosion leading to enamel loss.  One of the many benefits our natural enamel provide is resistance from bending forces.

Teeth Wear, night guard  As the outer enamel layer thins,  teeth become more flexible and stress cracks become more common from habitual stressor habits like grinding and clenching.   In fact,  pre mature enamel loss can begin early in life if these habitual activities, also known as para function,  go untreated.  The extend of dental treatment complications later in life may well be proportional to whether the patient was treated when signs of premature wear were identified.

We believe optimal oral healthcare involves identifying the cause of existing disease in addition to the side effects of the disease.  A night guard is worth its weight in gold in prevention when habitual “para functional” stressors are influential in reducing stability in one’s oral cavity.

We also believe it is our responsibility is to identify when a night guard is recommended and assure the fit is comfortable throughout the night.  The patients responsibility to wear the appliance as recommended often determines whether or not we proceed with further treatment needs when these “para functional habits” are destructive.

 

 

 

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